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Published 06/24/2015 at 9:44pm | Views: 11503
PBS is delaying the third season of its show Finding Your Roots after an internal review determined that Ben Affleck improperly influenced the show to leave out facts about his ancestors owning slaves.
The review states that the series' co-producers "violated PBS standards by failing to shield the creative and editorial process from improper influence, and by failing to inform PBS or WNET of Mr. Affleck's efforts to affect program content."
Back in April, it was reported that Ben asked the show to edit the episode, which aired in October 2014.
"PBS will also withdraw episode #204 from all forms of distribution including on-air, digital platforms and home video," PBS said.
Soon after, Ben wrote a lengthy post on Facebook apologizing for his actions.
"After an exhaustive search of my ancestry for Finding Your Roots, it was discovered that one of my distant relatives was an owner of slaves," Ben wrote on his Facebook account. "I didn't want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. I was embarrassed. The very thought left a bad taste in my mouth."
"Skip [Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.] decided what went into the show. I lobbied him the same way I lobby directors about what takes of mine I think they should use. This is the collaborative creative process. Skip agreed with me on the slave owner but made other choices I disagreed with. In the end, it's his show and I knew that going in. I'm proud to be his friend and proud to have participated," Ben added.
"It's important to remember that this isn't a news program. Finding Your Roots is a show where you voluntarily provide a great deal of information about your family, making you quite vulnerable. The assumption is that they will never be dishonest but they will respect your willingness to participate and not look to include things you think would embarrass your family.
I regret my initial thoughts that the issue of slavery should not be included in the story. We deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors and the degree of interest in this story suggests that we are, as a nation, still grappling with the terrible legacy of slavery. It is an examination well worth continuing. I am glad that my story, however indirectly, will contribute to that discussion. While I don't like that the guy is an ancestor, I am happy that aspect of our country's history is being talked about."