By Frazier Moore
PBS is conducting an internal review following revelations that producers of “Finding Your Roots” may have violated the network’s editorial standards after a request by Ben Affleck that the program not reveal he had a slave-owning ancestor.
Meanwhile, Affleck has expressed regret for seeking to have the information omitted from the episode that featured the actor and aired last October.
“We deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors and the degree of interest in this story suggests that we are, as a nation, still grappling with the terrible legacy of slavery,” Affleck posted on his Facebook page Tuesday night.
The review by PBS and New York station WNET began Saturday, according to a statement released Tuesday by PBS spokeswoman Anne Bentley.
“We have been moving forward deliberately yet swiftly to conduct this review,” she said.
In his Facebook post, Affleck acknowledges that, initially, “I didn’t want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. I was embarrassed.”
He says he lobbied Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard scholar who hosts and produces the show, “the same way I lobby directors about what takes of mine I think they should use.”