Why Did Leah Remini's 'Scientology & The Aftermath' End? The Answer Is Complicated
After three years, Leah Remini and A&E ended the hit docuseries about the Scientology organization which allowed former members to speak out. The finale event aired Monday, Aug. 26 and featured a discussion on the allegations of rape brought against actor and Scientologist Danny Masterson. It was a popular show on the network, so why did Leah Remini's Scientology and The Aftermath end?
The answer seems very simple. The show ended because Remini wanted it to end. It features 36 episodes and won an Emmy. In a fight as big as this one, against an entire organization — it seems like there is so much more to say. But Remini didn't expect it to go on this long. She told The Hollywood Reporter that she thought "six or eight" episodes would be enough to get the FBI, local police, and the IRS to at least investigate Scientology. But 36 episodes later, it hasn't worked to her satisfaction.
Now, she has to find a new medium through which to fight. "We’re exposing so much, but we need to do some other things to bring the fight to a different level." Remini said in a THR exclusive. "People kept telling us more stories, and we had to tell them, but there’s only so much you can do in this forum and in this way."
Remini is keeping the details of that next project quiet so that she doesn't tip off Scientology members allegedly working against her. But she says the next stage of her fight involves protection more than exposition. "We’re going down another avenue that we feel will bring real justice to victims of Scientology but also prevent it from happening in the future — particularly with children. They need a voice that their Scientology parents aren’t providing," she told THR.
There are also hints that the show ended perhaps thanks in part to The Church of Scientology's efforts to shut it down. In a statement on his blog dated Aug. 14, Remini's co-host Mike Rinder said, "Scientology is a formidable opponent with a great deal of money and no restraint when it comes to attacking those who are speaking of their pain and loss because of Scientology’s abusive practices."
Rinder went on to explain that sponsored television restrictions have limited the show's investigation into Scientology and what viewers see:
Our work is not done yet. Unfortunately sponsored television has limitations. There are things we cannot film or show on camera because of certain restrictions. These restrictions have limited us in many ways to tell the full story and in some cases, not permitted us to tell the story at all.
Remini remained quieter on these restrictions in an interview with Entertainment Weekly when asked directly about Rinder's statement, only thanking the show's partners. "Without A&E, Disney, and our production partner, The ICP, we wouldn’t have been able to do what we’ve done already. We wouldn’t have been able to come this far," she said. People have changed their minds about the organization after hearing allegations of abuses within the church, and that was the initial point of Remini's battle.
The fight against any powerful organization is understandably complicated. So, it's not surprising that Aftermath's end is, too. Both Remini and Rinder have made it clear that their mission is not complete, they're just metaphorically moving its headquarters to an as yet undisclosed location. They seem at peace with the choice and that's what matters.