Leah Remini praised a controversial HBO Scientology documentary, calling the filmmakers “brave.”
Just hours after the airing of Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Leah Remini tweeted her admiration for the film.
“Thank you to the brave who did something about it. And to those who didn’t have a voice, you do now. #GoingClear,” tweeted the 44-year-old actress, who made headlines when she left Scientology in July 2013.
The film, directed by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney, is based on Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, which takes an in-depth look at the religion and includes interviews with former members of the church.
First premiering at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim, the church has denounced the film through statements and a twitter campaign against the film.
“The accusations made in the film are entirely false and alleged without ever asking the Church,” Scientology officials said in a statement. “The Church is committed to free speech. However, free speech is not a free pass to broadcast or publish false information.”
— People magazine (@people) March 30, 2015
The most recent tweets in a Twitter campaign launched through an account called Freedom Media Ethics to slam the documentary show a number of photos of men and women sleeping in a movie theater while watching the film, with captions such as “HBOring..Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”
— Freedom Media Ethics (@FreedomEthics) March 29, 2015
Leah Remini made headlines when she left Scientology more than two years ago, claiming that she had lived through years of “interrogations” and “thought modification.”
“I wish to share my sincere and heartfelt appreciation for the overwhelming positive response I have received from the media, my colleagues, and from fans around the world. I am truly grateful and thankful for all your support,” said Leah Remini in a statement.
Needless to say, the backlash was immediate from other celebrity Scientology followers, including Kirstie Alley.
When others accuse U falsely & unjustly, just keep loving them..U don't have to invite them to dinner, but hating them poisons your soul 🙂
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) March 31, 2015
“When you are generalizing and when your goal is to malign and to say things about an entire group—there are tens of millions of Scientologists in the world—when you decide to blanket statement that Scientology is evil, you are my enemy,” said Kirstie Alley.
— Noah Fairbanks (@NoahFairbanks) March 30, 2015
Remini told Buzzfeed several months after leaving the church that she did so for her daughter.
“In my house, it’s family first—but I was spending most of my time at the church,” she said. “So, I was saying ‘family first,’ but I wasn’t showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent my daughter.”