Affleck wanted slave-owning ancestor censored from PBS program
Emails related to last year's Sony hacking reveal that Ben Affleck asked the PBS program "Finding Your Roots" to remove references to an ancestor who owned slaves from his family tree.
After asking for advice from Sony chief Michael Lynton, host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. complied with the request, a decision he defended, releasing a statement saying "In the case of Mr. Affleck we focused on what we felt were the most interesting aspects of his ancestry."
These guests families have long been engaged in the battle for freedom and civil rights, but didnt know those principles were passed down through generations. Ben Afflecks mother was a Freedom Rider in 1964...
I can't find anything about the mysterious slave owning ancestor but I'm thinking he might have been a fairly large holder...
You have four grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16 great-great, 32 great-great-great.....etc and so on. Your ancestors DOUBLE with each generation going back in time. The people you inherited your DNA from are legion just a few generations back into history. You must realize you're a needle in a haystack on the DNA generational map.
Kings, slaves, murderers, thieves, liars, whatever. One of the reasons I'm not really impressed with people who talk about bloodlines as though they matter.
I shut him up when I stated that I come from a long line of surly peasants.
Hell, two of my ancestors that I know of were executed for being religious fanatics. Surly bastards indeed!
a more comfortable image of American history. I think this is going to be difficult for Gates to defend. If he thinks it's ok to censor this, then why doesn't he agree with conservatives that want to downplay slavery when teaching American History?
I have no problem with them "censoring" information about a part of a person's personal life that they have no control over, we don't need to know every last detail about the ancestry of celebrities.
to open up their family tree while censoring anything scandalous, it's just myth-making.
Afflect chose to publicize his freedom rider ancestor and disappear his slave-owner ancestor = bullshit.
When you speak about your family do you share all their flaws with people you never met? Ben Affleck never even met the family members in question, they died long before he was born and he has no obligation to go on national television and talk about them.
and his is not an ancestry of unbroken support for civil rights as he wants to paint it.
If you are a white person in America then you almost certainly have racist ancestors, our country has a long history of racism and you won't find many families that have unbroken support for civil rights going back generations.
I hope your family tree is filled with saints because if it is not then you should probably stop throwing stones at other people because of their ancestors.
since obviously no one is responsible for them.
They didn't censor it, and please, who "relates" to all of their ancestors?..That wasn't the issue;
The issue, I suspect, is that he was ashamed..He sounds like a prima Donna.
If he chooses to focus on the part of the family he admires rather than the part of the family he is ashamed of that is fine with me. Sharing one part of your family history in no way obligates a person to share the entire story. A person can talk about their daughter's success in school without being obligated to talk about their son's drinking problem. People have the right to decide what they want to share about their family, speaking about the good things one family member did does not mean they have to speak about the warts of another.
I respect him, but I would not call myself a fan.
The idea of in for a penny in for a pound is ridiculous when it comes to a person's family. People should be able to talk about the family members they are proud of without having to adress the wrong doing of distant ancestors.
as your comments make it clear you have not.
To say that "The idea of 'in for a penny, in for a pound' is 'ridiculous' when
it comes to a person's family", is in itself ridiculous when the show
show in question is all ABOUT family and distant ancestors. What is not only
silly, but self-important is demanding that you, unlike every other guest, get
to cherry pick only those family members you are "proud of".
What makes it worse, of course, is that the "censored" information -- and your attempts
to hide it -- eventually come out and make the person look even worse -- silly and
deceptive -- than he would have if he'd done what all the other guests did and refrained
from hiding it.
Your claim of guests being in the position of "having to address the wrong doing of distant ancestors",
is just one more clue you've never watched the show -- As mentioned before, Afleck
isn't the only guest who had a slave owner ancestor, and neither he, nor anyone
else is made to "address the actions of wrong doers". Only someone with an out-sized ego
would try, even by omission, to make his entire family tree look squeaky clean.
As Steve Kornacki, host of MSNBC's "UP' said today of the incident, "I think Ben's taking
himself a little too seriously". I agree and would add that I think you are as well.
Contrary to your suggestion, I never have made any attempts to hide anything about Ben Affleck in fact I find that claim pretty ridiculous. I just personally think this is just about the stupidist outrage I have seen in a while. Ben Affleck's ancestors have no effect on our lives but people are complaining about censorship because not every detail of a celebrity's ancestry was covered.
There is real news that actually effects our lives that is being censored but instead of worrying about that Americans are upset that they don't get all the dirt on a famous actor's family. It is pathetic.
Or are you just in need of remedial reading?
I ask because, if you'd actually read my post, you'd know I NEVER said that YOU "made any attempts
to hide anything about Ben Affleck", and yes, I think it's "pretty ridiculous" too, since I never
even "suggested" anything of the kind -- Please Re-read the post!...The accusation is that Ben himself
is trying to hide things about his life, not you.
You are the one who appears, "outraged" and yes, I think that is pathetic.
Here are your exact words...
When you are talking to me and you use the word "your" then it sure reads like you are telling me that I am trying to hide things about Ben Affleck. If that is not what you meant then maybe it is not me that needs remedial reading, maybe it is you that needs remedial writing.
I don't have to answer for that. I was born in California in the 70's. There might be an issue here with the spirit of the endeavour, but I sure wouldn't fault anyone for not wanting to set themselves up to be smeared.
Benedict Cumberbatch was "called to account" for this. His privileged upbringing being directly linked to slave ownership in the process.
Nobody is going to call me to account because members of my father's family, all long since deceased were hitmen forty years before I was born.
"genetic character flaw," please.
link to that post.
that one's ancestors accumulated capital in now-dubious ways, and that that capital was often passed down the generations has nothing to do with "genetic character flaws".
it has to do with the inheritance of money & privilege.
There is no such thing as original sin, whatever you wish to dub this "legacy" it comes with no responsibility for disclosure or atonement.
"The smear is that that fact represents some sort of genetic character flaw. Benedict Cumberbatch was "called to account" for this."
And now that you've implied I called on Cumberbatch to "atone," please link to that post as well.
I just raised him, a man born in 1976, as another example of this ridiculous mentality.
If Affleck doesn't want the same public telling of family secrets that Cumberbatch has received, I won't fault him for that. I wouldn't want one either for reasons I have explained.
I'm sure you could find some homeless people who's ancestors we're slave owners. Where did their privilege get lost?
as to where their privilege got lost: maybe they were the masters' slaves, and also coincidentally his children, and never had any privilege in the first place.
maybe the family was ruined in the civil war, since in addition to losing the war, most slave owners were in debt to eastern banks up to their eyeballs (the real slave wealth was made in the north, or in England -- but still made on sweated slave labor).
but some slave owners did just fine, and passed on wealth down the generations to the present time. For example, Teddy Roosevelt's family.
"Bulloch Hall w TR ". Licensed under PD-US via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bulloch_Hall_w_TR_.jpg#/media/File:Bulloch_Hall_w_TR_.jpg
and it's pretty easy to trace teddy's family's privilege down to the present day.
and some of it was built on slavery -- not just once, but several times over.
kennedys "smuggling booze".
If indeed the family made part of their fortune "smuggling booze" that's a simple fact: their fortune was partly built on that illegal activity.
Do you deny that? Do you have a problem with it being mentioned?
Are we supposed to ignore history?
Should we not mention where money comes from?
about the bootlegging activities of Joseph Kennedy.
I have no problem with it, or with the many who made millions smuggling drugs into the country.
I just get annoyed by those who cherry pick history.
Americans usually can't think back past 200 years.
History is much longer than that.
If you'll excuse me, I'm off to have a non bootlegged drink.
I'm usually a fan of your posts, Cwydro, but today not so much.
You claim that "Americans usually can't think back past 200 years".
I know these kinds of knee-jerk, lazy put downs of Americans usually slide easily on DU,
but I think you should speak for yourself on this. It's possible that you and your family
are bereft of that kind of education, but how about NOT slandering the rest of us?
"Americans usually can't think back past 200 years...."
Except for the person who says "Americans usually can't..." who oddly enough, always seems to pretend to be more clever-- but only by alleging the ignorance of others rather than demonstrating his own intelligence.
about hiding all this.
Maybe there is something I'm missing.
But I don't think so.
Affleck wanted to keep that fact off TV = true.
PBS went along with that = true.
What is it you take issue with?
to TV, so somebody acceded to Affleck's wishes.
Maybe the leaked documents say who it was. I haven't read them.
Last edited Sat Apr 18, 2015, 09:31 PM - Edit history (1)
What a sell out.
They are using history to tell the story they want to, not making a definitive documentary of the Affleck family history.
reality, so why watch?
like most of PBS's "educational" corporate & plutocrat-sponsored programming these days.
If people watch and find it entertaining, their ratings will be good. Or not.
It's not a joke against anyone except self-promoting celebs who find their ancestors embarrassing; and brothel-keepers and paedophiles.
Armstrong did "Who Do You Think You Are?" for real a few years later. He's very posh.
Anyone who would blame Ben for what his ancestors did is ridiculous.
to hide what his ancestors did.
If it matters so little, why hide?
New deal_dem and ND_Dem are the same person.
I couldn't remember my email password.
thanks for your concern.
their racist ass....
It deserved its banning.....
And look at him putting his bullshit right into it.
He'll be back...
3 banned racists/homophobes on just one pass through.
African-American just because of their appearance also have slaveholders among their ancestors.
I bet it is a lot of African-Americans.
I think this is fascinating because we think of ourselves as them and us based on the color of our skin, but that is not always the reality. Sometimes some of them is in us, and that is what makes us such a fascinating people when it comes to race. We really are not white/European v. African-American. We are much more mixed than we realize. And that is probably especially true for those who are least willing to admit that they may have a common ancestor with someone they think of as the "other."
Probably few of the black descendants did -- though there were some.
We were able to verify our relationship to an ancestor that would go back maybe 200 years through DNA testing. But that may be unusual. There was a rather strange strand of DNA or whatever it is. I don't know the language that is appropriate to describe what was found.
Might be worthwhile to try it and find out who is related to whom. Certainly interesting.
I've stumbled across situations where older relatives seem to be both prejudiced against and mixed with a particular race a couple of times (different race each time, no less). The perception/understanding of race is pretty crazy.
race and our attitudes toward race. It's really crazy and the effects of the craziness are inexcusably cruel.
And now some idiots think it's important to post all the content that should be private.
I know enough that goes back a couple of generations, and for the most part, they were just simple folks doing what they had to do to survive. That's it. If my great great great grandfather held slaves, that's no reflection on me. So what is the big deal? Accept the things you can not change.
and hide his slave-owning ancestor. so he obviously cared.
Nobody would have held it against you that your ancestor was a slaver.
You should have just owned it and used it as a public explanation for your commitment to progressive social change.
It was a chance to find meaning in something horrible, and you totally blew it, dude.
"Jay" and "Silent Bob" should have a talk with you about this.
After seeing him on Bill Maher calling criticism of Islam racism I don't think he's all that smart. This just shows that he's not all that consistent either. He comes across as an apologist/accommodationist for comfortable positions.