An upcoming docuseries on A&E will go inside the Ku Klux Klan.
The television network will premiere an eight-part docuseries about four KKK-affiliated families on Jan. 10, called “Generation KKK.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show is meant to create a dialogue between those in the KKK and their family members who oppose their views. None of the KKK members participating in the show hide their identity in any way.
Regardless of the show’s intent, broadcasting views of an extremist group to a potential audience of millions of people allows for the dangerous possibility that “Generation KKK” normalizes the very real and hateful attitudes of KKK members.
“We certainly didn’t want the show to be seen as a platform for the views of the KKK,” Rob Sharenow, general manager of A&E, said in an interview with The New York Times. “The only political agenda is that we really do stand against hate.”
Sharenow added, “I certainly think that A&E should be on the side of shining a light on things that aren’t really looked at. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’re an advocacy brand. But I do think there’s a message of hope in all these shows and a promise of redemption.”
The timing of the show is both uncanny and troubling. Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke publicly endorsed president-elect Donald Trump, as did the KKK’s official newspaper, the Crusader. Members of the hate group held a parade celebrating Trump’s victory in North Carolina, while onlookers shouted “White Power!” at the cars driving by. Various news reports have come out since the Nov. 8 election describing an uptick in hate crimes.
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