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Ben Affleck Asked PBS Not Air Slave-Owning Relative

Submitted by on April 19, 2015 – 11:43 amNo Comment

The latest chapter of the Sony email hack has revealed an embarrassing anecdote about Batman v. Superman star Ben Affleck. Documents posted on Wikileaks this week show that Affleck asked that a slave-owning ancestor be excluded from his appearance on the PBS program Finding Your Roots.

The emails between Gates and Sony Pictures co-chairman and chief executive Michael Lynton show Gates soliciting advice on whether or not to censor the program at the request of a certain “megastar” who is never named. Lynton and Gates seem to agree that the censorship is advisable, as long as no one finds 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. Again, all things being equal I would definitely take it out,” Lynton wrote.

Gates points out that several other participants, including documentary film maker Ken Burns and journalist Anderson Cooper, were revealed to have slave-owning ancestors, but none asked for them to be excluded. The Affleck segment instead focused on a Civil War-era ancestor who became an occultist, among other family members.

PBS has since stated they were unaware that Gates contacted Sony, adding, ”It is clear from the exchange how seriously Professor Gates takes editorial integrity,” in a statement posted on its website.

[via NBC News]

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