PBS said on Wednesday (6/24/15) that it was postponing a future season of “Finding Your Roots” after an investigation revealed that the actor Ben Affleck pressured producers into leaving out details about an ancestor of his who owned slaves.
PBS will not run the show’s third season until staffing changes are made, including hiring a fact checker, it said.
The show, which is hosted by the Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., traces family histories of celebrities and public figures, and has run for two seasons. The concern about Mr. Affleck’s relative surfaced in the WikiLeaks cache of hacked Sony emails after Mr. Gates asked a Sony executive for advice about a “megastar” who wanted to omit a detail about a slave-owning ancestor.
Two knuckleheaded decisions in this one:
1) Affleck had ancestor’s who owned slaves. So what? What does that have to do with him? Why does he think this revelation would make others view him as a racist or soil his image?
2) The producers who bent under pressure to a “mega star.”
How about this idea?
Air the show and let Affleck announce that he’s donating xxx millions to the NAACP. A form of retribution for the sins of his fathers. That’s called making chicken salad out of chicken manure.
Obviously, Affleck needs better advisors. I’m also glad to learn PBS suspended the show. PBS is expected to have integrity, and when it doesn’t….