The Church of Scientology is bolstering its attack against the A&E program “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” and has sent emails to advertisers urging they ban the show.
The group, Scientologists Against Discrimination (STAND), reportedly sent different versions of a letter to companies that advertise on the program, claiming the show “promotes hatred, religious bigotry and slander against a religion that helps communities all over the world,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
STAND posted on its website the letters it sent to companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Fiat Chrysler and Geico.
The Emmy Award-winning show, hosted by former “King of Queens” actress Leah Remini, 46, a former member of the Church of Scientology, is in its second season. Remini, a vocal opponent of the Church of Scientology, was a member of the religion for about 30 years before leaving in 2013.
The show follows Remini speaking with former members of the religion and what they experienced when they were followers. The program "gives a voice to the victims of the Church of Scientology despite public attempts to discredit it," according to the show's website.
The Wall Street Journal reported a few advertisers have withdrawn from the program due to “the public controversy" surrounding the show but not necessarily because of the letters.
Geico was one of the companies to pull its advertisement from the series but not from the network.
“That rotation ended previously and Geico ads are not appearing in time slots for that program,” a Geico spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. The company did not state why it pulled advertising from Remini’s show.
A Church of Scientology spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal, “Advertisers are being written to educate them and expose the lies that A&E irresponsibly airs from a hateful (Leah) Remini and her unvetted—albeit compensated—subjects.”
“Scientologists, like members of any religion or group being discriminated against, have every right to communicate their disgust at lies being spread about their religion,” she said. The show has triggered “an explosion in hate crimes, threats and even violence directed at Scientologists,” the spokeswoman wrote.
A&E defended the show and noted its recent Emmy win.
“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,” an A&E spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal.