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Thread: Ben Affleck Suppressed Family's Slave-Owning Past

  1. #61
    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    He's responsible for his own actions though. He's a movie star and he used to controlling his image to the nth degree. He's probably also a little arrogant and figured he had a right to shape his story any way he chose. Plus, cover ups usually work for his kind.

    It was a dumb decision.

    We should all assume that somewhere in our past our ancestors participated in stepping on (or crushing) the heads of others. That's how we all made it this far.
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  2. #62
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    See, this is what happens when you do something dumb and people start digging.



    PBS documentary Finding Your Roots, already under internal review over claims it censored information about Ben Affleck’s slave-owning ancestors out of a recent episode, has again come under fire for inaccuracies after Affleck’s mother denied she was ever involved in the 1964 Freedom Summer.

    In Affleck’s segment on the ancestry-themed documentary program, host Henry Louis Gates Jr. tells the actor that his mother, Chris Boldt, was an activist involved in Freedom Summer, the historic voter-registration drive among Mississippi’s African-American community in 1964.

    Promotional materials for Affleck’s episode on the PBS website included the line: “Ben Affleck’s mother was a Freedom Rider in 1964.”

    “A lynch mob made up of members of the Klan and the local sheriff’s department pulled over three of Ben’s mom’s fellow activists,” Gates tells Affleck on the program. “This is not some abstract threat. The Klan actually murdered these three Freedom Riders. And your mother was there at that time.”

    Chris Affleck, now 72, told the Daily Mail this week that her “heart was with” the Freedom Riders, but that she was never a member of the group. According to the outlet, Mrs. Affleck was not even in the South in 1964, but one year later instead.

    “I supported what they did,” she told the Mail. “People have incorrectly said I was a member, which embarrasses me because I wasn’t as good as they were.”

    PBS announced this week that it would conduct an “internal review” to ensure the network did not violate its editorial guidelines. In a statement to Breitbart News on Friday, PBS said the network is “still conducting our internal review. We will share findings once it is concluded.”

    PBS, Gates, and Affleck came under fire last week after a leaked email exchange between Gates and Sony CEO Michael Lynton revealed that Affleck had asked Gates to censor information about a slave-owning ancestor out of the program.

    Affleck apologized this week on social media for requesting the edit, saying he was “embarrassed” and that he regretted his “initial thoughts that the issue of slavery not be included in the story.”

    Affleck’s mother told the Mail that her son’s apology made her “proud.”

    “I wasn’t surprised to find that my family had used black people as slaves,” Mrs. Affleck told the outlet. “It makes sense. It was all on my side of the family because my parents were from Georgia and Mississippi and many rich white people from southern states would use people in this way.”

    “I know in my heart that it was wrong, but I had no exact knowledge until now,” she added. “But I am not surprised or shocked, although it doesn’t make you feel good at all.”

    In a statement issued shortly after the exchange became public, Gates still apparently believed that Affleck’s mother was a Freedom Rider.

    “Ultimately, I maintain editorial control on all of my projects and, with my producers, decide what will make for the most compelling program,” Gates said. “In the case of Mr. Affleck – we focused on what we felt were the most interesting aspects of his ancestry – including a Revolutionary War ancestor, a 3rd great-grandfather who was an occult enthusiast, and his mother who marched for Civil Rights during the Freedom Summer of 1964.”

    In the original transcript of Affleck’s segment on the program, obtained by Gawker, Gates tells Affleck it’s “cool” that the actor’s mother “went back fighting for the rights of black people in Mississippi, 100 years later. That’s amazing.”

    On Wednesday, Affleck revealed the name of his slave-owning great-grandfather on Twitter: Benjamin Cole, who reportedly owned 25 slaves as the wealthy sheriff of Savannah, Georgia.
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  3. #63
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    I love Mrs. Affleck.
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  4. #64
    czb
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    she owned it, so what's the issue.

    the PBS guy is starting to look bad ....

  5. #65
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    Unless - she's lying because she witnessed a murder and is trying to protect herself...
    Free Charmed.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by llamamama View Post
    My ancestors are all European (Romanian, Irish and English), and my Romanian grandmother told me when I was a kid that I come from a long line of horse thieves.
    My grandfather would say that we came from Irish horse thieves, but I think that's because of a familial belief in reincarnation. My grandfather believed that you reincarnated along your family line, and that rings on your neck meant that you had been hanged, so he said our ancestors were hanged for horse thievery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevan View Post
    I'm disappointed that Ben wanted it edited out and I'm extremely disappointed that PBS did it for him. I think it would have been a great discussion point (sort of like Sluce mentioned). It's not as though he or his parents or even grandparents (unless I read it wrong) were slave owners. He has nothing to be ashamed of, IMHO. He can't control what generations past did.
    I recently found out that one of my ancestors established a plantation in Barbados. I also have ancestors who fought on both sides of the Civil War (it was apparently common in families for one brother to fight for the North and one for the South). I'm ashamed of the behavior of my ancestors who did wrong, but I'm not ashamed of myself. I think that societal acceptance of slavery must have shielded people who thought they were good people from the cognitive dissonance of owning another person. I cannot comprehend any other way for a person who is not lacking in empathy to be okay with that lifestyle.

    Personally, I have NO idea about that stuff. I know my biological father (unaffectionately known as the sperm donor) is almost all (if not entirely) German, and I *think* he's only a first or second generation American. For all I know, some of my ancestors on that side could have been Nazis. I would be extremely disappointed and pretty devastated but again, I wasn't born yet (neither was the sperm donor), so how could the blame be laid at my feet. On the other side, they are mostly Irish (about 90+%) with a tiny bit of other European blood (French, English, Swedish) and a teeeeeeny tiny bit (like a drop) of American Indian on my maternal grandmother's side (can't remember which Indian though). I remember telling a guy that my grandfather came from a HUGE very Baptist and very Irish family and he said, oh, so you're a Black Baptist. I still have no idea what that means and I don't care. I yam what I yam.
    Maybe he was conflating "Black irish" and "Black Baptist"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    Unless - she's lying because she witnessed a murder and is trying to protect herself...
    Holy shit!
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    One of my Native American ancestors was married to a black woman and they owned black and native slaves. I don't feel particularly ashamed of it, it is what it is.
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  8. #68
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    PBS: 'Finding Your Roots' Ben Affleck episode violated standards, series put on hold

    By Lynn Elber, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press – 16 hours ago







    LOS ANGELES, Calif. - PBS put its "Finding Your Roots" series on hold Wednesday after determining an episode that omitted references to Ben Affleck's ancestor as a slave owner violated its standards.
    The public television service said it is postponing the show's third season and delaying a commitment to a fourth year until it is satisfied with improvement in the show's editorial standards.
    PBS launched its investigation after it was reported that Affleck requested the program not reveal his ancestor's slave-holding history in the 2014 episode. The Associated Press examined historical documents and found that Affleck's great-great-great-grandfather owned 24 slaves.
    The review found that co-producers violated PBS standards by allowing improper influence on the show's editorial process and failed to inform PBS or producing station WNET of Affleck's efforts to affect the program's content.
    In a statement, series host and executive producer Henry Louis Gates Jr. apologized for forcing PBS to defend the integrity of its programming. He said he's working with public TV on new guidelines to ensure increased transparency.
    Affleck's request came to light last spring in hacked Sony emails published online by whistleblower site WikiLeaks.
    "These reports marked the first time that either PBS or WNET learned of this request," PBS said Wednesday.
    PBS said it will withdraw the episode from all forms of distribution including on-air, digital platforms and home video. The show was also ordered to hire an additional researcher and an independent genealogist to review programs for factual accuracy.
    Gates and PBS said in April they didn't censor the slave-owner details. Instead, more interesting ancestors of the "Argo" and "The Town" actor emerged and Gates chose to highlight them instead.
    But in an email exchange between Gates and Sony Pictures chief executive Michael Lynton, Gates asks Lynton for advice on how to handle Affleck's request.
    "Here's my dilemma," says Gates in one email, dated July 22, 2014, "confidentially, for the first time, one of our guests has asked us to edit out something about one of his ancestors — the fact that he owned slaves. Now, four or five of our guests this season descend from slave owners, including (prolific documentary filmmaker) Ken Burns. We've never had anyone ever try to censor or edit what we found. He's a megastar. What do we do?"
    Lynton replied that it all depends on who knows that the information was in the documentary already.
    Last January, PBS station WETA in Washington, D.C., succeeded WNET as the show's producing station.

    Source: https://ca.celebrity.yahoo.com/news/...201642843.html

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by czb View Post
    the PBS guy is starting to look bad ....
    I may be in the minority here (pun intended), but I've always found Henry Louis Gates to be an arrogant SOB. He acts like he's the only person who knows about all things black; he is right and everyone else is wrong. I'm sorry for the incident he had a few years back with the cops, but since then he has come across as a bit of a twat in his interactions with the media.
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  10. #70
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    Dumb.

    Your history is your history. Good or bad.

    If I had found out that news, I would then be looking for the relative that turned things around and did the right thing.
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  11. #71
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    While we are on the topic of slavery, Slate had a pretty amazing animated map of ALL of the recorded slave trafficking voyages from Africa to America (North and South). You can actually drag a timeline indicator back and forth to jump to a particular year. You can see which African countries the slaves came from, and where their first stop was in America - primarily the West Indies or Brazil. Even though I know that Brazil has a strong African ethnic mix, I was pretty surprised at just how many slaves went to Brazil vs. North America.

    Animated interactive of the history of the Atlantic slave trade.
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  12. #72
    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    I, personally don't feel his wanting it to stay hidden is a big deal!! But that's just me!!
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  13. #73
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    If you want to hide your history, going on a show that researches and publicizes your history is just stupid. He has enough money to conduct private genealogy research if he was just curious about it. Sounds like he wanted to world to know all the positive things about his family and none of the negative. That's not how the show works. Ben's behavior was wrong.

    Now he just looks like a liar when he could have told the truth from the beginning and just denounced what his family did in the past. It's not like it's his fault that his family owned slaves.
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    Word.
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