Ben Affleck: ‘Finding Your Roots’ Hid Slave Owner Ancestor, Claims Sony Hack

Was a slave owner the ancestor of Ben Affleck? Finding Your Roots is a TV show by PBS that explores ancestry, and now it is being claimed by a leaked email from the Sony hack that Affleck asked the show to hide this fact.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, the Batman v Superman trailer shows Ben Affleck with the Batmobile and Batwing, but how different is the story’s plot from The Dark Knight Returns, which also had Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent duking it out?

Ben Affleck’s Finding Your Roots appearance already aired on October 14, 2014, but the video audiences saw focused entirely on the positive aspects of his heritage. This included a mystic who lived during the Civil War area, and also Affleck’s own mother, who participated in the Civil Rights movement during the 1960s.

Nothing was mentioned about Affleck’s connection to a male ancestor that was confirmed as a slave owner. According to the email released during the Sony hack, Affleck apparently asked the TV show to hide this little tidbit of information from the public eye.

The email conversation allegedly occurred during the summer of 2014, when the Finding Your Roots host, Henry Louis Gates Jr., asked Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton what do about Ben Affleck’s request that they hide the slave owner ancestor.

“One of our guests has asked us to edit out something about one of his ancestors–the fact that he owned slaves. Now, four or five of our guests this season descend from slave owners, including Ken Burns. We’ve never had anyone ever try to censor or edit what we found. He’s a megastar. What do we do?”

Ironically, Lynton told the host to only remove evidence of the slave-owning ancestor from the TV show as long as the public did not know about it.

“On the doc the big question is who knows that the material is in the doc and is being taken out. 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.”

Now that the truth has come out, PBS issued an explanation from Gates for why Ben Affleck’s Finding Your Roots appearance did not include this negative information.

“The mission of ‘Finding Your Roots’ is to find and share interesting stories from our celebrity guests’ ancestries and use those stories to unlock new ways to learn about our past. We are very grateful to all of our guests for allowing us into their personal lives and have told hundreds of stories in this series including many about slave ancestors—never shying away from chapters of a family’s past that might be unpleasant. 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—including a Revolutionary War ancestor, a 3rd great–grandfather who was an occult enthusiast, and his mother who marched for Civil Rights during the Freedom Summer of 1964.”

What do you think about this explanation? Do you think it matters that Ben Affleck allegedly tried to hide his slave owner heritage?

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