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Was Clay Aiken’s Campaign a Political Stunt?

Was Clay Aiken’s Campaign a Political Stunt?


The revelation that there was a documentary series being filmed about the former American Idol's political loss has left some donors and campaign participants feeling deceived

Photo: Getty

Clay Aiken may not be taking a seat in North Carolina's state legislature, but a point of contention left over from his fall campaign is keeping him from moving on.

After it was announced that Esquire Network would be airing a four-hour docuseries about Aiken on his campaign trail leading up to his loss in November's election, some of his fundraisers felt like they had unwittingly become part of a publicity stunt instead of a governmental election run. The untitled show is set to air sometime early this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

According to a story in The Advocate, TV host Michael Corbett and actor Steve Tyler, who spearheaded a portion of Aiken's Los Angeles fundraising, were upset that nothing had been said to them prior to the announcement of the series.

Aiken didn't inform them that his documentarians would be at the event, and the film crew allegedly lied to secure releases from those attending so they would be able to use whatever footage they wanted, telling people that the footage was for a BBC program set to air exclusively in the UK.

"This is not a reality series," says Matt Hanna, head of original programming at Esquire Network, a NBCUniversal-owned cable network. "It's a documentary. And from two acclaimed and award-winning filmmakers." He went on to rebuff the accusation that partygoers were lied to, saying that the film crew said they were from a UK-based company, and that they kept a low profile to avoid altering the reality of what a modern American political campaign is like.

Hanna added that when audiences tune in: "People will see that Aiken is highly intelligent and deeply motivated and also politically savvy in a way you wouldn't expect."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Dennis Hinzmann