On the heels of the embarrassing discovery that Ben Affleck’s ancestory included slavery ownership, his mother, Chris Affleck, now claims she did not take part on the Freedom Rides or Freedom Summer as the PBS show Finding Your Roots stated.
Now, the show is being investigated by the network for a possible breach of ethics for also claiming Mrs. Affleck was a Freedom Rider in 1964 and had taken part in Freedom Summer. Freedom Summer was a civil-rights campaign in 1964 to register as many black voters as possible in Mississippi. The campaign also set up schools, housing, and community centers.
Mrs. Affleck’s photo – her name was Chris Boldt then – was shown juxtaposed with photos of Freedom Riders, and the show’s host, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., states Mrs. Affleck took part in the historic event. Gates discusses the notorious 1964 murders of three civil rights workers, referring to the victims as “three of Ben’s mom’s fellow activists.”
Now, Mrs. Affleck claims that although “her heart was with” the Freedom Riders, she was not in the South in 1964 as the show represents; she was in Mississippi a year later, according to an interview with the Daily Mail.
“I supported what they did. People have incorrectly said I was a member which embarrasses me because I wasn’t as good as they were.”
Gates says he still believes Mrs. Affleck was active in the civil rights movement. In a statement through PBS, Gates stated the following.
“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 third great-grandfather who was an occult enthusiast, and his mother who marched for civil rights during the Freedom Summer of 1964.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Ben Affleck has apologized for pressuring Finding Your Roots to cover up his slave-owning ancestry. The embarrassing detail of Affleck’s ancestory was brought to light after the Sony email hack last year.
Affleck’s great-great-great grandfather owned 25 slaves in Savannah, according to the deleted segment of the show. PBS is now investigating why the information about Affleck’s ancestor was removed, as well as the erroneous information about his mother. The actor issued a lengthy statement on his Facebook page regarding the cover-up.
Finding Your Roots, hosted by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., brings famous guest stars onto the show so they can learn about their ancestry. In light of the controversy, the episode featuring Ben Affleck has been removed from the show’s online guide.
[Image credit: Vince Bucci/Getty Images Entertainment]