The continuing saga of the KKK documentary that wasn’t would make a great program. They could call it Finger-Pointing Peckerwoods or something.
The subjects of a TV documentary series about the Ku Klux Klan abruptly canceled last week by A&E allege to Variety that significant portions of what was filmed were fabricated by the producers.
Some KKK leaders divulged that they were paid hundreds of dollars in cash each day of filming to compel them on camera to distort the facts of their lives to fit the documentary’s predetermined narrative: tension between Klan members and relatives of theirs who wanted to get out of the Klan.
The KKK leaders who were interviewed by Variety detailed how they were wooed with promises the program would capture the truth about life in the organization; encouraged not to file taxes on cash payments for agreeing to participate in the filming; presented with pre-scripted fictional story scenarios; instructed what to say on camera; asked to misrepresent their actual identities, motivations and relationships with others, and re-enacted camera shoots repeatedly until the production team was satisfied.
Not included in this article: Why the Klan volk couldn’t tell the producers to take their cash and shove it.
“We were betrayed by the producers and A&E,” said Nichols. “It was all made up—pretty much everything we said and did was fake and because that is what the film people told us to do and say.”
Good Christ these people are so fucking dumb I wonder if they understand fire. Claiming betrayal because the footage was edited without his knowledge to distort what he and the other Klanites said would make sense. Claiming betrayal because he took cash ($600 a day, by his account) and followed directions is 100% white supremacist. Bad thing happened, grab big word and scream. Perhaps a better title for the show would be Whiny, Witless & White.
What prompted Nichols to share his life with TV viewers was a solicitation via email from a TIJAT producer, which he summarized as saying, “We want to show everyone the real truth about the Klan.”
As an aside – I took this to mean that the reporter hadn’t seen the email, which made me wonder if editors are still a thing at large publications.
At any rate, the chances that anyone will ever know who said/paid what to who for what are about even with the chances that a planet-killing meteorite will show up and end 2016 and everything else with a final and fitting bang (sorry).
Production company TIJAT also issued a statement in response to the allegations, which suggested participants are being intimidated into tarnishing the show.
“We take these allegations very seriously and in partnership with A&E we will be looking into them fully,” a portion of its statement read. “We have been told that participants in the series have received threats and coerced into speaking out against the authenticity of the show.”
Why? The show is as dead as a Confederate soldier.
But sources close to the production also cast doubt on the testimony of KKK leaders, describing them as inveterate liars motivated by an agenda to scuttle a series that could make them look bad if it ever aired and prone to confusing being manipulated with aggressive questioning from producers.
Next on A&E: We Are Easily Dominated Liars! These are two traits one would naturally expect from a group of people who think the world should give a shit because they’re more prone to sunburn, and a little research (10-30 seconds) would confirm this hunch, so I hope no one on the production team was surprised.
And this guy.
Of the leaders of the four Ku Klux Klan groups featured on the TV series, only one denied receiving payments for his participation. “I was never paid a dime but I wished they did,” said Steve Howard, Imperial Wizard for the North Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, on Dec. 24.
But on Dec. 26, Howard lashed out on his Facebook account demanding $100,000 payments from A&E and the film production company for money he said was promised and owed him. “Tomorrow by 11 I start singing. So someone better take care of it. I want lost wages,” wrote Howard. “They can buy me out or I start singing.”
Howard took down his Facebook posts less than 24 hours later.
Dude! Stick to the script.