When A&E announced a new documentary series titled Generation KKK earlier this week, the Internet’s floodgates opened and an endless stream of backlash crashed against the network. As Complex writer Elizabeth King framed the situation, some commenters considered the show “an interesting look inside of the oldest and one of the most notorious hate groups,” while most others saw it as “a vile platform” for racism, bigotry, and some supporters of President-elect Donald Trump. The station responded with the above preview and several social media posts, noting that Generation KKK was meant to “[document] activists working to expose and end hatred,” but not everyone bought the explanation.
As a result, A&E announced on Friday it would change the series’ title to Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America. The network’s official press release also detailed a series of ongoing and new partnerships with the Anti-Defamation League, Color Of Change and several other civil rights organizations and initiatives:
Building upon the planned PSA campaign with the ADL, A&E will feature in-show content provided by civil rights leaders between segments that gives further context to what viewers are seeing on air. The network will also produce and air a Town Hall-style show to facilitate deeper dialogue about ending hate in America. Color Of Change will also join the ADL and A&E in helping to develop viewer guides and educational curriculum to help viewers discuss the difficult subject matter and learn how they can get involved to help.
In a statement, A&E and Lifetime’s executive vice president and general manager Rob Sharenow said the network was “glad to have some of the country’s leading civil rights organizations, including the ADL, Color of Change and others as partners in this effort, and look forward to working together to impact hate in America. We feel that this new title and enhanced partnerships, the in-show and after-show components and our outreach plan more broadly reflect the existing anti-hate content of the series and our longstanding intention.”
Escaping the KKK premieres Tuesday, January 10th at 10 p.m. ET on A&E.