Earlier today, the nominations were announced for the 69th annual Emmy Awards, and there were lots of big surprises to be found in the bunch. While not all of them were good, there was still much to cheer for, and it was quite the gigantic day for Leah Remini, whose A&E docu-series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath received its first nomination, which was also a first for Remini. But don't go thinking she's getting an ego over it. Here was her reaction to getting the nod.
I don't look at this as something I should acknowledge myself for. My subjects deserve it. They were brave enough to come on Aftermath knowing there were repercussions for their actions. This is why I created the show. The reason people come on our series is for no other reason but to tell their stories of how destructive cults like Scientology are.
True to form, Leah Remini humbly deflected the initial attention for the honor of getting a nomination in Outstanding Informational Series or Special. When Scientology and the Aftermath first premiered, it was quite a big hit for A&E, earning championable numbers for its series premiere in November 2016, and its numbers throughout Season 1 were solid enough to earn it not just a season renewal, but also three different specials, with two coming in-season and one coming post-season. By all counts, success was already achieved for Scientolgy and the Aftermath, but with the Emmy nomination, Remini and the rest of the show's crew know that the Emmy voters are paying just as much attention as audiences around the country.
And in Leah Remini's case, it's obviously less important to take home a physical trophy than going home with the knowledge that her not-always-supported efforts are being witnessed and appreciated by a growing number of people. And as she told EW, she's all-around surprised that this is the show that got her Emmy cred, but is still incredibly thankful.
I always thought my Emmy moment would come on King of Queens. I imagined we'd be there together as a show, because I was so proud of our cast... I always thought they deserved an Emmy along with our writing staff, too. Now I'm older and wiser, and doing such an important project like this, it's not even for me. I'm honored that I'm able to be a conduit for these brave people and to tell their stories...Hollywood has embraced the contributors and the content of the show for what it is. [People] are not falling for what Scientology is selling anymore.
Not all of the attention that Leah Remini has received for Scientology and the Aftermath has been of the soul-lifting sort, of course. The Church of Scientology itself has been extremely critical of both the show and its creator, as many involved with the Church feel her depiction is one-sided and unfairly negative. But that won't stop Season 2 from hitting A&E at some point in the coming months.
UPDATE: In the time since this article was first published, the Church of Scientology reached out to CinemaBlend with its take on the A&E program, which it feels is biased and dangerous. You can get a fuller perspective on the Church's position here.