Ben Affleck Tries to Hide Slave Owner Family History
When Ben Affleck was on the PBS television show Finding Your Roots, he reportedly got more information about his family than he was willing to share with the rest of the world. According to some hacked Sony emails that were posted online last week, Affleck reportedly requested that PBS not air the information about an ancestor who owned slaves. Yikes.
According to the Huffington Post, the show's host, Henry Louis Gates Jr., emailed the Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton to ask him how he should go about dealing with Affleck's request. He reportedly wrote, "For the first time, one of our guests has asked us to edit out something about one of his ancestors -- the fact that he owned slaves."
Lynton told Gates to go ahead and take the information out -- so long as no one knew about it already. He allegedly wrote, "I would take it out if no one knows, but if it gets out that you are editing the material based on this kind of sensitivity then it gets tricky. Again, all things being equal I would definitely take it out."
Gates then responded, saying that ridding the show of the information was "a violation of PBS rules, actually, even for Batman." He went on to claim that Affleck's ancestor "wasn't even a bad guy," despite owning slaves.
PBS and Gates both released statements about the leak. Gates wrote, "Ultimately, I maintain editorial control on all of my projects and, with my producers, decide what will make for the most compelling program. In the case of Mr. Affleck -- we focused on what we felt were the most interesting aspects of his ancestry." PBS, meanwhile, backed Gates, expressing their continued support for his "independent editorial judgment to choose the most compelling narrative."
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