Ben Affleck: A Slave to his Past

PBS has halted the premiere of Season 3 of Finding Your Roots after an internal review found that the show was in violation of its standards. The program allegedly omitted information about a slave-owning ancestor of Ben Affleck.

PBS made the internal review public on Tuesday, and says that the co-producers failed to “shield the creative and editorial process from improper influence” and to “inform PBS or WNET of Mr. Affleck's efforts to affect program content.” The show's third season, originally slated to begin in September, has been delayed while the network investigates the show.

E-mails leaked in April's Sony hacking allegedly show Affleck's discomfort about including information about his ancestor. He has since apologized to PBS saying that initially he was “embarrassed” by the discovery.

Not surprisingly, Ben Affleck isn't the only white celebrity who has discovered slave-owning relatives. In Season 3 of Who Do You Think You Are? Paula Deen was shown crying after discovering that one of her relatives was a slave owner. Neither NBC nor Paula Deen decided to censor the information.

PBS plans to hire an additional researcher/fact-checker and an independent genealogist to review Season 3 of Finding Your Roots before airing it.

-Matré Grant
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