Scientology church members are asking advertisers to boycott former member Leah Remini’s Emmy-winning documentary blasting the religion.
The Wall Street Journal reports Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) members have begun the campaign of emailing advertisers to ask them to pull their support from the A&E network show.
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath is now in its second season, and Scientology members insists since credits for the show start rolling it has done little more than incite threats and acts of violence against members of the church.
STAND members recently posted letters addressed to such advertisers as Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Chrysler brand, and Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Geico on their website.
“Leah Remini’s hate campaign of religious bigotry in its first season alone generated more than 400 incidents of harassment, threats of violence and vandalism against our churches and members,” reads one letter dated from August and addressed to Geico’s assistant vice president of marketing Bill Brower. “The threat level has again risen, precisely coincident with A&E’s promotion and airing of the second season of this show, now spawning even more threats—bombings, murder and acts of physical violence.”
Remini and A&E officials have brushed aside the criticisms and continue to defend the show as a platform to give a voice to those that have been victimized by the religion.
“We are enormously proud of the quality and importance of the series, which was affirmed by the show’s recent Emmy win, and we intend to continue to share these brave stories with viewers,” A&E officials said in a statement.
Aftermath made its premiere in November, 2016, posting the strongest ratings on the channel in two years. As recently as in September, the show averaged nearly 3 million total viewers per episode, including 1.6 million viewers in the 25 to 54 aged demographic.
Remini, who was raised in the church, recently railed against Scientology over what she pointed to as its suspect treatment in order to coerce them into staying in line with the principles of the religion.
She used the latest episode of Aftermath to illustrate church leaders believe “children are viewed as equal to adults and therefore responsible for their actions in the same way adults are.”
The episode featured two former young members of the church who claimed they were forced to reside at the Scientologist-run Mace-Kingsley Ranch as a form of discipline, where their daily routine consisted of manual labor and corporal punishment.
Remini also shot down the notion that church leaders are not fully aware of how such facilities run and operate.
“Bulls**t” the Hollywood Reporter reports Remini countered. “Scientology schools are run on Scientology technology. It doesn’t matter if you’re just an average Scientologist, it is all run the same way.”
[Featured Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]