Ben Affleck, PBS, and Whitewashing a Slave-Holding Ancestor

What happens when academia and Hollywood collide? Ben Affleck has now admitted that he asked Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of the PBS show Finding Your Roots, to omit the fact that one of his ancestors owned slaves. The cover-up was revealed after WikiLeaks published emails between Gates and Sony Pictures co-chairman Michael Lynton. Affleck wrote on his Facebook page yesterday that he felt embarrassed by his history but now regrets the decision to cover it up. Is this reflective of a bigger dilemma in how our culture handles the topic of slavery?



  • Carol Anderson - Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of “One Person No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy.” - @ProfCAnderson