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A&E Tackles KKK With New Docuseries

A&E will debut Generation KKK, a docuseries about the Ku Klux Klan, Jan. 10. The eight-part series follows four prominent Klan families who each have a family member trying to escape the KKK. According to A&E, “This series pulls back the curtain on the organization that the Anti-Defamation League calls ‘a racist, anti-Semitic movement with a commitment to extreme violence to achieve its goals of racial segregation and white supremacy,’ to show its effects on American families as members grapple with the consequences of leaving.”

This series gives viewers an unprecedented look at what it is like to be born into hate. Our producers gained access to Klan families allowing for full immersion into this secret world and its impact on the next generation,” said Rob Sharenow, executive VP and general manager of A&E and Lifetime. “GenerationKKK brings viewers inside the places where hatred and prejudice are born and bred, and carried forward or not.”

White supremacist groups have become more prominent amidst the so called “alt-right” movement and the recent election. In February, PBS’ Independent Lens debuts a pair of films depicting the KKK and the clash between races: Birth of a Movement (Feb. 6) chronicles the African American protests that greeted the 1915 premiere of D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (which led to a resurgence of the Klan); while Accidental Courtesy (Feb. 13) fast-forwards 100 years to the present, where a man seeks to combat racism by befriending Klan members.

The four families featured in A&E’s Generation KKK include an Imperial Wizard who hopes to groom his teenage daughter to take his place; an Iraq War veteran determined to raise his four-year-old son to embrace his views; a young man who sees a Klan leader as the father he never had; and a fifth-generation Klan family struggling to keep up the legacy.

Generation KKK is produced for A&E by This Is Just A Test (TIJAT). Executive producers for TIJAT are Aengus James, Colin King Miller, Cynthia Childs and Paul Lima. Executive producers for A&E are Elaine Frontain Bryant, Amy Savitsky and Evan Lerner.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.