HBO’s ‘Savior Complex’ Docuseries About American Linked to Uganda Child Deaths Stirs Social Media Debate

Savior Complex Trailer (Credit: HBO)

American missionary Renee Bach responds to allegations in the upcoming HBO documentary series, Savior Complex, that she posed as a medical professional, leading to the deaths of 105 children in Uganda.

Bach is the focus of the three-part docuseries, which premieres Sept. 26.

She says she was “called by God” to help malnourished African children. But many social media users say Bach should be in jail instead of being featured in a TV series.

The Virginia native was 19-years-old in 2009, when she set up a now-defunct Christian charity called Serving His Children in Jinja, Uganda. The charity provided free meals to families in need and offered medical care.

The problem was, Bach personally treated sick children without any medical credentials.

NPR reported she tended to 940 severely malnourished children between 2010 and 2015, and 105 of them died. Local residents accused her of “playing God” and said “hundreds of children” who were treated at Bach’s clinic lost their lives.

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According to HBO, Savior Complex details Bach’s “divisive journey” while also addressing “questions around ‘white saviorism’ and the ethics of foreign aid work done in the name of humanitarian and religious ideals.”

The recently released trailer shows Bach performing medical checkups and more complex procedures on small children.

“She would do things as if she was a medical personnel,” a local man says in the video.

“She was not qualified to do this!” a woman adds.

“Renee is being put up as an angel…  angels like her bring death on the continent,” another woman says.

HBO posted the trailer to X/Twitter on Sept. 6, drawing more than 700 comments.

“Nobody wants this. She should be facing multiple life sentences for what she’s done,” one person replied.

“Sooooo this is the angle HBO decided they could tell. Wish for once we could say we were surprised,” someone else wrote.

“She killed these children, scammed people out of millions and they thought ‘Let’s give her a bigger platform.’ Disgusting,” another person responded.

“Does the money made from the show go to the victim’s family? or just to the evil lady who killed babies on purpose,” someone else replied.

In 2019, CNN reported two women who lost children that were treated at Bach’s clinic partnered with a civil rights group to file a lawsuit in Uganda against the American.

The lawsuit was settled in July 2020. As part of the settlement, Bach and her charity agreed to pay $9,500 to each of the mothers, without admitting liability.

Savior Complex is directed by former ABC News producer Jackie Jesko (Between Life & Death: Terri Schiavo’s Story), and executive produced by Nick Capote, Alex Waterfield, and Roger Ross Williams (HBO’s Love to Love You, Donna Summer and God Loves Uganda).

The docuseries premieres Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO followed by episodes two and three airing Wednesday, Sept. 27, starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. All three episodes will be available to stream on Max beginning Sept. 26 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.