For years, fans have enjoyed episodes of Find your roots on PBS. The documentary series delves deep into the ancestor stories of celebrities. Hosted by Henry Louis, Jr., the show has featured guests such as Robert Downey Jr., Stephen King and Bernie Sanders. In an early episode, Ben Affleck learned he was the descendant of a slave owner, which caused massive controversy.
Many people might think that exploring their family tree would be great fun. However, some may not be ready for what they are learning. Enter Ben Affleck.
Award-winning actor and filmmaker, known for goodwill hunt and his relationship with Jennifer Lopez, appeared in Find your roots Season 2 Episode 4 titled “Roots of Freedom”. By this time, Affleck had started winning awards as a director. However, the episode aired shortly after the release of his 2014 film Ex girlfriend.
The episode aired in October 2014. However, information about it came to light in 2015 when Sony Studios was hacked. Wikileaks released documents that revealed several scandalous Hollywood secrets – including the one about Affleck.
According to The Daily Beast, some discoveries about Affleck have been edited out Find your roots Consequence. “For the first time, one of our guests has asked us to cut out something about one of his ancestors — the fact that he owned slaves,” Gates wrote in an email to Sony’s Michael Lynton. He referred to the celebrity in question as a “megastar.” While this could have been any number of guests on the show, Gates also dubbed the theme “Batman.” At the time, Affleck was preparing for his upcoming role in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
As per the publication, Affleck later apologized for the incident and came clean. In a statement on his Facebook page, he wrote that he was “embarrassed” that his great-great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Cole, owned slaves. “I regret my initial thoughts that the subject of slavery would not be included in the story,” the actor wrote. “While I don’t like the fact that the guy is an ancestor, I’m glad this aspect of our country’s history is being talked about.”
Apparently, the actions in favor of Affleck caused a stir. According to CBS News, the episode actually violated public television standards. The network eventually suspended the show’s third season, which eventually aired in early 2016.
EW reports that PBS has removed Affleck’s episode from all platforms, and clips aren’t even available on YouTube. The results of an investigation found that the producers violated PBS standards by “allowing improper interference with the show’s editorial process.” Find your roots also had to hire an additional researcher and genealogist to verify accuracy.
NPR reports that the show’s host, Gates, said of the scandal, “I sincerely regret not having discussed my editorial reasons with our partners at PBS.”
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