KKK Members Claim A&E Paid Them To Fake Scenes For Docuseries
Following the cancellation of an A&E documentary focused on the Ku Klux Klan, members of the organization have since spoken out against the television channel.
In an interview with Variety, Richard Nichols, the grand dragon of a KKK cell referred to as the Tennessee White Knights of the Invisible Empire, claimed that he was paid $600 for fake and distorted footage that would have been a part of the controversial documentary series, Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America.
"We were betrayed by the producers and A&E," Nichols said. "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."
Nichols, as well as many other members of the KKK, discuss other ways in which producers of the series had fabricated some of the storylines that were going to be a part of the series, with the team buying everything from wood and kerosene for cross burnings, to exaggeration a confrontation between Nichols and Cody Hutt.
According to the report, a central part to Nichols' story is his attempt to make Hutt a member of the KKK. However, from the very beginning Hut had told producers that he never wanted to join the hate group, but was willing to take the money from them (reportedly $200) to play the part.
Tensions then get to a high with Nichols and Hutt when the latter invites Bryon Widner, an anti-hate activist, to Nichols' house to help convince Nichols to leave Hutt alone. However, both Nichols and Hutt say that the scene was fabricated.
"That was 100% the TV guys' idea and staged," Nichols said.
"When me and Richard had a fall(ing) out and he was mad because I wouldn't join — they staged that all," Hutt added.
The only reason Escaping the KKK was cancelled in the first place wasn't because of its controversial premise (and the idea that A&E was giving a platform to an organization categorized as a hate group), but because of the news reports that claimed that producers had paid some of KKK members a part of the series. Now, those claims seem to be true.