Tags: ben affleck | finding your roots | hid | slave-owning | kin

Ben Affleck: 'Finding Your Roots' Show Hid His Slave-Owning Kin

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 06:22 AM

Ben Affleck demanded that producers of the PBS "Finding Your Roots" series hide the fact that his ancestors owned slaves, according to an email exchange involving the program's host and posted by WikiLeaks.

The emails between Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sony chief Michael Lynton dated July 22, 2014, were part of thousands of hacked Sony emails posted by WikiLeaks last week, reported USA Today. Gates wrote in the email that he was seeking "advice" on how to handle the Academy Award-winner's request, according to the New York Daily News.

Affleck was never mentioned by name in the emails but referred to as "Batman," noted the Daily News. USA Today noted an email revealed that at the time Affleck was in Detroit hooting scenes for "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice."

Affleck's episode in "Finding Your Roots" appeared on PBS Oct. 14 without a mention of that his ancestors owned slaves, noted USA Today.

"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," Gates emailed to Lynton in the 2014 email exchange, according to the Daily News, saying he was worried that the editing could violate PBS rules.

Lynton responded by telling Gates in the email that he should grant Affleck's request.

"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," Lynton wrote to Gates, according to the Daily News. "Again, all things being equal I would definitely take it out."

Gates defended the deletion in a statement posted by PBS in response to the hacked emails.

"Ultimately, I maintain editorial control on all of my projects and, with my producers, decide what will make for the most compelling program," Gates wrote. "In the case of Mr. Affleck – we focused on what we felt were the most interesting aspects of his ancestry – including a Revolutionary War ancestor, a third great–grandfather who was an occult enthusiast, and his mother who marched for Civil Rights during the Freedom Summer of 1964."

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Ben Affleck demanded that producers of the PBS "Finding Your Roots" series hide the fact that his ancestors owned slaves, according to an email exchange involving the program's host and posted by WikiLeaks.
ben affleck, finding your roots, hid, slave-owning, kin
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2015-22-20
Monday, 20 Apr 2015 06:22 AM
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