Emmy-winning documentary that alleged abusive practices at the religion’s US HQ scores success despite legal threats and hostile social media campaign
Going Clear: the Scientology documentary sparked controversy when it aired in the US in April. Photograph: HBO
Sky Atlantic’s broadcast of an Emmy-winning film about Scientology was the most-watched documentary on the channel in three years, despite facing legal threats and a social media campaign designed to discredit it.
Going Clear: Scientology and The Prison of Belief, broadcast on 21 September, attracted an average audience of 243,000 including catchup viewing, with a peak of 313,000 viewers. The figures made the Sky co-production the most popular documentary on the channel since 2012’s Bradley Wiggins: A Year in Yellow.
Sky head of non-scripted commissioning, Celia Taylor, who was also executive producer on the documentary, said: “As co-producers as well as the broadcaster of Going Clear, we’re very pleased it’s been such as hit with critics and and Sky customers alike.
“Getting the highest ratings for a documentary on Sky Atlantic since 2012, as well winning three Emmys, is testament to its creative quality and power.”
The church of Scientology has waged a publicity campaign against the film, which alleges abusive practices at the church’s HQ and features interviews with former members.