Critics Slam A&E’s ‘Generation KKK,’ NYT Profile for Normalizing White Supremacy

By Sameer Rao Dec 19, 2016

An upcoming A&E docuseries about the contemporary Ku Klux Klan—and the accompanying December 18 profile from The New York Times—drew accusations of sanitizing White supremacy over the weekend.

According to the Times, the eight-episode "Generation KKK" will follow several Southern Klan leaders and their efforts to raise children with White supremacist beliefs. It will also feature anti-hate activists working to draw the children away from the Klan.

"The struggles we were most drawn to were the struggles with the internal families," said "Generation KKK" producer Aengus James ("I Am Jazz"), who first sent crews to follow the Klan’s grassroots activity almost a year-and-a-half ago, per The Times. "We had a stance, and we were clear with folks that we were hoping for them to see the light and to come out of this world. It’s an incredibly destructive environment for anybody to be in, let alone children."

A&E’s general manager Rob Sharenow insisted to The Times that the network "certainly didn’t want the show to be seen as a platform for the views of the KKK." But that statement of intent did not stop many social media users from calling out both the network and publication for painting the Klan in a sympathetic light:


This controversy, which made "Generation KKK" a trending topic on Twitter, occurs as media outlets debate how to appropriately cover White hate movements as a political reality without condoning them, particularly given their importance to Donald Trump‘s election to the presidency. 

"Generation KKK" premieres January 10. Let us know what you think about the controversy in the comments.