Most religions don't take too kindly to negative criticisms, especially when they're being delivered through mass-marketed feature films and TV series, but few are as notorious for (alleged) retribution as the Church of Scientology. And I'm guessing high-ranking members are less than pleased to know that the organization will be at the center of a new TV series from ex-member and TV star Leah Remini. Given the actress' declarations about Scientology since her self-imposed exit, I cannot imagine that this will be a project known for pulling punches.
At this point, it doesn't appear as if Leah Remini's new gig has a title just yet, and the network is supposedly being kept hidden for the moment, but it's known that the King of Queens vet will serve as a producer, and it's presumed that she will be quite involved in putting together the research and information that will be used for the show. Rather than taking on the entirety of Scientology, something attempted by the recent HBO documentary Going Clear, Remini and her creative team will focus on the process of "disconnection" that is taught and promoted among members.
Particularly, the project will look at the way Scientology "rips apart families," according to famed anti-Scientology blogger and journalist Tony Ortega. Disconnection basically dictates that Scientology members are forbidden to have communication with former members or others known to share dissenting views of the organization, no matter who those people are. Scientology is notorious for having destroyed marriages and other family units, and Remini herself admitted she lost many friends after distancing herself from the Church. There are many criticized aspects of Scientology, but this is definitely one of the most disturbing ones.
Leah Remini left the Church of Scientology in 2013 after years of having problems with the organization, appearing on Ellen to chat candidly about her departure. Her ties to her former religion continued, at one point involving a missing persons report filed by Remini for Scientology leader David Miscavige's wife Shelly, and she released the revealing tell-all Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology in 2015, which also got some negative remarks from the Scientology community. She's a solid source of information for such a project, so it'll be interesting to see just how down and dirty it gets.
Having been at the center of her own reality series for the past two years, Leah Remini is now more seasoned in the world of unscripted television, so hopefully she can avoid lawsuits and other legal issues on the way to getting this Scientology-based series onto our TVs. Footage for the show is reportedly being shot, and the same company and/or network apparently has another Scientology-centered series in the works, also concerning the disconnection process. (The more the merrier, I guess?) Are you guys ready to potentially watch Leah Remini piss off a bunch of Scientologists?