WASHINGTON • Five days after A&E announced a documentary series about the Ku Klux Klan, the network has abruptly cancelled the project.
On Christmas Eve, a spokesman said A&E learnt that the show's producers - from a third-party production company - made cash payments to "facilitate access" to participants, which violates A&E policy.
The eight-episode series, to air next month, was originally titled Generation KKK and was described as a behind-the-scenes series look at four prominent Klan families, each of which had a member trying to escape the organisation.
"We had previously provided assurances to the public and to our core partners - including the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change - that no payment was made to hate-group members, and we believed that to be the case at the time," the statement said. "We have now decided not to move forward with airing this project."
Though some reality TV producers do pay their subjects, A&E said it is against this practice for documentaries.
A&E caused an uproar last week when the show was revealed. Some argued that any series about the KKK, even about people leaving, was normalising the hate group, particularly after an election when KKK members supported United States President-elect Donald Trump.