A&E, known for guilty pleasure shows like Hoarders and Duck Dynasty, is taking another look at challenging and severe programming with the premiere of KKK Generation, an eight-part documentary series that will follow members of the Ku Klux Klan and those who wish to leave the hate group.
The New York Times reports the series will follow Steven Howard, the Imperial Wizard of the North Mississippi White Knights; Chris Buckley, a Grand Knighthawk with the North Georgia White Knights; and Richard Nichols, the Grand Dragon in the Tennessee Knights of the Invisible Empire. After over a year and a half of filming, executive producer Aengus James says the series will center on the children who are being lured into the ways of the KKK and the family members who are fighting to stop the generational cycle from happening.
“The struggles we were most drawn to were the struggles with the internal families,” James said. “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.”
In one of the scenes, Howard gifts his three girls with Klan hoodies as an effort to keep up his troublesome life’s work. Buckley’s wife Melissa is trying to stop their five-year-old son from spewing out racial slurs he’s learned from his father. What inspired her to do so was a reported incident she had with three African-American women at a local Wal-mart. Her husband, an Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afganistan, found solace in the Klan after blaming his financial and mental hardships on others. “I hate to say that I was even at the point of leaving him because he’s my best friend, he’s my kids’ father, he’s everything to me,” Melissa told the Times on Sunday (Dec.18). “But it got to the point where, if I’m not safe with him, why be with him?”
The series will also introduce anti-hate activists like Arno Michaelis, a former white supremacist who works with the group Serve 2 Unite to stop extremism.
The documentary will premiere on A&E Jan. 10.