Ever since announcing a new reality show on A&E that would follow the lives of current KKK members, the network has received a lot of backlash. Now it looks like the show will still go on but it won’t be called Generation KKK anymore. Instead, in an attempt to calm the outrage over such a reality show, A&E has changed the titled of the show to Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America.
On Friday, A&E announced the change, hoping to squash some of the outrage that has built since television viewers learned of the upcoming show. The original intent of the show has anti-racist aspirations even though the original title made a lot of people wonder if A&E was going to glorify the racist group and shine a light on the KKK, allowing them to take in more members.
So, they changed the title to Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America. A&E has a lot of $… https://t.co/ACvYdVj3C2
— ダリル ワートン (@whartonrigby) December 24, 2016
“In consultation with our partners at the ADL [Anti-Defamation League] and Color of Change, the network is changing the name of the show to ensure that no one can mistake its intent and that the title alone does not serve to normalize the Klan,” A&E said in a statement. “The new title: Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America better reflects our longstanding intention and the content itself.”
According to Salon, the new A&E show Escaping the KKK will focus on the mothers and children of the Klan who are trying to escape the group and lead normal lives. According to the report, the new reality show will follow the lives of anti-racism activists Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Arno Michaelis, and Bryon Widner. The new A&E stars will be confronting the patriarchs of families who want to leave the Klan to try and talk them into leaving or at least convince them not to indoctrinate their children into the KKK culture.
A&E didn’t just change the title of the show in order to get a handle on the outrage over their newest offering. They are also now partnered with Color of Change, an African-American civil rights group. They are also working with the Anti-Defamation League. As part of their new agreement with Color of Change, content will be shown between the segments from civil rights leaders to help explain and add context to the content within the show.
Entertainment Weekly reported that Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President & General Manager of A&E and Lifetime, said the goal of the series is ” to expose and combat racism and hatred in all its forms.” Escaping the KKK is not about glorifying hate groups in America.
A&E title change: “Generation KKK” to “Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America.” Good move! https://t.co/P2dAnDvzNT
— Carole Myers (@CaroleMyers) December 24, 2016
Their intentions were actually quite the opposite and they are working to expose what is going on with these underground groups and to help those who want to get out to do just that. It just wasn’t all that obvious with the original title Generation KKK and now there is a huge mess to clean up after a lot of people got upset and threatened to boycott not only the show but to boycott the entire A&E network because of it.
Now that A&E has made their goals clear with Escaping the KKK, they are hoping more people will be willing to tune in and give it a shot. They are also planning another project, a town hall discussion meant to bring about even more dialog. A&E is also working with the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change to develop viewer guides and even an education curriculum to accompany Escaping the KKK.
Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America is an 8-part docuseries that will debut on A&E on Jan. 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
[Featured Image by John Bazemore/AP Images]