June 9, 2017

Bigotry and broken relationships: the legacy of Disney & Leah Remini

This show has created an environment of hostility and prejudice that I never thought I would have to experience. You can imagine my outrage when I saw that A&E had picked the show up for a second season.

9 June 2017

Burbank, CA 91505

Dear Ben:

I am writing you regarding the impact the Leah Remini A&E Scientology show has had on my life.

I am a practicing Scientologist and I enjoy it and find it very helpful for both myself and my friends/associates who practice the religion. I have many friends of course who are not Scientologists and we have always been able to get along and I certainly respect the religious beliefs of others.

My friends, family, and acquaintances are often interested in Scientology information that I’ve shown them to help them with their problems. Now, however, in large part due to the show that A&E has aired, I have had numerous instances of my friends being fearful regarding anything to do with Scientology, and in some cases aggressive towards me, which was never the case before the show.

  1. My boyfriend of 5+ years didn’t have a problem with my being involved with Scientology and often complimented me on my improvements. Then he started watching Leah Remini’s show, and he suddenly became aggressive and critical of me and what I do. He started attacking me for what I believe and practice and about other people in the church that he had never met. When I tried to clear things up with him, he told me that he “knows” these things because he has watched the interviews on the show. This show got him all mentally twisted and he couldn’t let it go, and he became very hostile and suspicious of me. We were unable to resolve this and had to break up.
  2. I have a girlfriend who has always defended me as a Scientologist and applauded my improvements. Just a couple of months ago after the show had aired even she started to challenge me on it. While I was able to work things out with her, it is just another example of the kind of hostility that Leah Remini’s show has generated.
  3. Another friend asked me why I wasn’t “doing my research” by watching Leah Remini’s show. I told him that I don’t consider the ongoing stream of sensational lies on the show to be research and asked him why he didn’t just read a Scientology book instead. He said he would prefer to get his information from Leah Remini. He stopped being friends with me shortly afterwards.

This show has created an environment of hostility and prejudice that I never thought I would have to experience. You can imagine my outrage when I saw that A&E had picked the show up for a second season. In today’s social and politically charged culture, I felt that I had to contact you before this hostility degenerates into something worse.

I am appealing to you as the head of Disney/ABC TV Groups to do something about the show before any further unnecessary bullying, hatred or worse is created from this irresponsible program.

Thanks for your help.

Jacqueline Catala
Los Angeles, Calif.

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