Leah Remini’s Scientology and the Aftermath docuseries has been renewed for an expanded second season on the A&E network.
With that, the former King of Queens actress and longtime church member is vowing to intensify her crusade against the religion she fled just four years ago amid claims of abuse and misconduct on the part of its leaders.
“The way the organization has responded without taking responsibility for what they do to people, I need to continue,” Remini told the Hollywood Reporter. “It would be another [scenario] if they stopped trying to discredit everyone’s stories and said ‘if you don’t like it, don’t be part of Scientology.’”
The show’s second season is slated to consist of 10 episodes with a targeted premiere date of later this summer. The 46-year-old Remini will again serve as the executive producer, and she is already guaranteeing that there will be no shortage of new material.
During the show’s first season, Remini claimed members have been so brainwashed such Hollywood stars and high-profile church members as John Travolta and Tom Cruise could get away with murder in the eyes of fellow parishioners.
Meanwhile, Scientology leaders have continued to dismiss the show as the work of paid performers, directly comparing it to the failed A&E series Generation KKK, which was canceled earlier this season after network officials admitted that producers paid some participants.
“Real transparency would be for A&E to detail all forms of compensation made to sources spreading religious hate and bigotry on Leah Remini’s show,” church officials said in a recent statement.
Scientology and the Aftermath averaged 3 million viewers in its first season, including 1.5 million in the all-important 18-to-49-year-old demographic. Network director of programming Elaine Frontain Bryant recently hailed the show as fitting with the station’s quest for “authentic and distinctive storytelling.”
As long as she has a platform, Remini has vowed to continue speaking out, and many of her assertions have continued to spark major controversy.
Longtime church member and former That 70s Show star Danny Masterson recently charged her with having a hand in two women accusing him of rape, including an ex-girlfriend.
Radar Online reported that Masterson was formally under investigation by the LAPD for the alleged assaults.
“We are aware also that approximately 14 years ago a woman referred to in the blog made allegations of sexual assault and that the LAPD interviewed numerous witnesses and determined the claim had no merit,” a rep for Masterson claimed.
Masterson also insisted the women only went public with their allegations of rape after talking with Remini and a rep of his added “these false allegations appear to be motivated to boost Leah Remini’s anti-Scientology television series.”
Masterson is a second-generation member of Scientology and has been unflinching in his defense of the church.
“Anyone can say anything about anything,” he once told reporters. “How true it is, I guess that’s up to the reader. If you’re going to write something and you don’t ask the people who actually do it, then what’s the fu**ing point? We could all interview the KKK about what’s cool about being white, but we don’t. I don’t know; it just seems retarded to me.”
Remini admits she talked to officers handling the Masterson probe and let it be known she had plenty to say.
“I met with the LAPD,” she said. “I met with [the lead detective Esther Reyes], and I told her these victims deserve to be heard. I pointed out to her that there was a framed picture of a Scientologist on their wall, actor Michael Pena. Do you know what that says to a young Scientologist who comes here to seek justice? My experience with the LAPD has not been good. I asked her to do the right thing by these girls, and I told her that the world is watching.”
[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]