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Ben Affleck Asked Henry Louis Gates to Hide Slave Owner Ancestry

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Director: Christopher Bell. Courtesy of Coco Knudson Photography
Ben and Skip PBS

Philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” Likewise those who choose to feign ignorance or turn a blind eye to the atrocities of our country’s past, will not expunge these injustices from the record book.

This past weekend, it was revealed that an episode of PBS’ Finding Your Roots starring Ben Affleck was edited because the actor did not want to reveal that one of his ancestors owned slaves. Instead, the episode, which aired October 14, 2014, focused on Affleck’s 3rd Great Grandfather who was an occult enthusiast as well as his mother’s advocacy during the Civil Rights movement.
According to messages leaked from the massive Sony email hack, Affleck asked Harvard Professor and Finding Your Roots host Henry Louis Gates to edit his family’s slave opening past out of the episode. The email reveals that Henry Louis Gates Jr., wrote to Sony USA chief Michael Lynton asking for advice:
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