Photo by Vincent Sandoval/WireImage
Scientologists have started targeting advertisers on the show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. Scientologists are writing emails to advertisers and sponsors in hopes of getting the docuseries canceled.
Leah Remini’s show, which airs on A&E, earned her an Emmy earlier this year. But she says she has been targeted by the church for speaking out. As it has claimed in the past, The Church of Scientology says that Aftermath is inciting hatred against the church, even personal injury, and threats against its members. “To date, Remini’s reality show has led to some 500 documented threats of violence, death threats, acts of vandalism, and hate targeting the Church, its parishioners, and its leaders,” reads a Scientology-created website. “One came from a 13-year-old boy who posted a death threat against a Church leader after binge-watching Remini’s show.”
Remini, along with ex-elite Scientologist Mike Rinder, are in the midst of filming Season 2 of the popular exposé show. The docuseries is a bold take on the religion of Scientology and it seeks to tell the unheard stories of people who’ve managed to leave the religious organization. Along the way, the viewer gets some insight into Rinder’s and Remini’s experiences as well.
Both Rinder and Remini are now classified by the church as “Suppressive Persons” (SPs). SPs are people who seek to speak ill of Scientology. But and SP could also include any journalist looking to tell a negative story about the religion. The treatment that befalls SPs is meant to be so unbearable, and in some cases so completely life-ruining, that they’ll cease their crusade to bring down Scientology. But so far, Remini has persisted, and she doesn’t seem to mind speaking out.
The group of Scientologists behind the advertiser targeting, are called The Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND). STAND has been inundating companies with harshly worded letters. Companies among the recipients include Fiat Chrysler, Geico, and Anheuser-Busch.
“There is too much conflict and turmoil incited by people like Leah Remini, and it is time to not only cancel the show, but to air the truth, share the proven technology to help people better themselves and end the hatred she promotes,” reads one letter from “Gillian Christie” of Santa Barbara, California, dated September 18.
The three above-mentioned companies had no comment on the letters, and A&E didn’t provide access to Remini for her take, but it’s possible she’ll address it on the next episode of Aftermath. Often, at the beginning, Rinder and Remini run through Scientology’s replies to their latest episode, most likely for full disclosure.
A&E defended Aftermath, noting that it picked up an Emmy for outstanding informational series. It’s also the top-performing show on the channel in two years. “We are enormously proud of the quality and importance of the series, which was affirmed by the show’s recent Emmy win, and we intend to continue to share these brave stories with viewers,” a network spokesperson said in a statement.
The letters won’t likely stop Remini, who has said in the past that she intends for others to hear the stories of those who have left Scientology. “Don’t misunderstand me,” Remini said in the past. “People who know me know that I have a very big mouth, and I have been that way since I was a kid. But I never want to give the organization of Scientology the idea that anybody is scared of them. We are not. And the more they react in the way that they do, it makes me think we’re doing the right thing.”
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