Louis Theroux returning to ‘America’s Most Hated Family’ for new Westboro Baptist Church documentary

How are people surviving in the notoriously offensive group in the wake of Pastor Phelps' death?

Louis Theroux (BBC)

Twice wasn’t enough for Louis Theroux, who is returning to the most hated family in America for a third time.


Louis Theroux: Surviving America’s Most Hated Family will see the documentary maker call in on the controversial Westboro Baptist Church, 12 years after his first visit, to see how much has changed in the wake of the death of patriarch Pastor Fred Phelps, or ‘Gramps’.

Theroux visited the notorious religious group – who are famous for spreading hate speech, anti-abortion rhetoric and picketing military funerals with placards emblazoned with anti-LGBTQ+ slogans – in 2006 before returning in 2011 for America’s Most Hated Family in Crisis.

His latest venture will see him explore the inner workings of the religious family unit as they navigate life five years on from Phelps’ death, and in the wake of several defections, including that of Phelps’ granddaughter Megan.

Theroux will also speak to Bradford-born Mathias Holroyd who believes the Church’s beliefs help him navigate daily life in modern Britain.

“I was curious to see how the Church was faring after the loss of the church founder, Pastor Fred Phelps, who died in 2014,” Theroux said of the highly anticipated documentary.

“Gramps’ angry and bigoted outlook had been the bedrock of Westboro’s practises and I was curious to see whether his death might have caused any kind of break-up or re-evaluation within the church, especially since there had been rumours that Fred Phelps might have had some kind of change of heart at the end of his life.”


Louis Theroux: Surviving America’s Most Hated Family will air on BBC2.