PBS suspends “Finding Your Roots” after Ben Affleck Incident
It was a cute show. Jessica Alba learned about her Chicano roots, Tina Fey learned about her Greek immigrant past. And we all said “awww" to the American Dream of our past. But do we really want to know our family history? What if it meant being linked to a slave-owner or a previous Nazi?
PBS television show “Finding Your Roots” showcased the background of celebrities, Ben Affleck should've said "no thanks!" After his episode, Wikileaks released information that Affleck's history was linked to a former slave-owner...And got PBS to leave that information out.
So why is it such a big deal? Because PBS smeared and shifted their material to leave out something about Ben Affleck, and censored it mostly because Ben Affleck told them not to.
“We’ve never had anyone ever try to censor or edit what we found,” Mr. Gates wrote to a Sony executive, Michael Lynton, in July 2014. Mr. Gates added that this would violate PBS rules, and “once we open the door to censorship, we lose control of the brand.”
Ops. That’s not the picture they are painting by leaving critical information about an actor’s past...
Sometimes we don’t alway have the greatest past, but wasn’t this a solid opportunity to educate their audience and learn from a personal example? I don’t think Ben Affleck is a lesser person because of his family history, but now I kinda think he’s crappy for persuading producers to hide information.
PBS is now postponing another season of “Finding Your Roots” and is looking to add a fact checker to their staff...(facepalm)