One of the revelations in the troves of leaked Sony emails was that Ben Affleck pressured the PBS program Finding Your Roots to leave out revelations about how he had ancestors who used to own slaves. Host Henry Louis Gates stood by the final edit of the show, while Affleck apologized and said, “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.”
PBS launched an internal review, and it concluded today. And the result: the third season of Finding Your Roots has been postponed, and there won’t be any commitment to a fourth “until we are satisfied that the editorial standards of the series have been successfully raised to a level in which we can have confidence.”
They are making the show hire an additional fact-checker and an “independent genealogist” to review the accuracy of all episodes. PBS is also removing the Affleck episode from all its platforms.
PBS executive Beth Hoppe said, “The co-producers of FINDING YOUR ROOTS have a strong track record of creating high-quality programming for PBS over many years. Improved editorial and production processes will ensure that all future projects will adhere to PBS’ editorial guidelines.”
[image via PBS]
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