When Sony Entertainment USA had their email hacked last year, it seems that one set of email exchanges were about Liberal actor, Ben Affleck and the PBS series, ′Finding Your Roots′. The series is hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., the university professor who became the subject of the infamous ′Beer Summit′ held at the White House by Barack Obama and Joe Biden, with Prof. Gates and Cambridge police officer James Crowley. The TV show, ′Finding Your Roots′ involves Gates interviewing a celebrity about their ancestors. In the episode with Ben Affleck, the producers decided to stage a cover-up, omitting the facts about Affleck having a slave owner in his family tree. The email exchanged which was leaked to the public shows that the big concern was how it would look if the cover-up was revealed. Can you say, ′Double Standard′?
You can bet your bottom dollar that had the series explored the family tree of a Conservative, say Sarah Palin, and found something that might be embarrassing, it would have been aired. But, if you are a big Hollywood Liberal who contributes money and speaks out for Democrats like Barack Obama, then any dirt gets left on the cutting room floor. Instead, the episode featured an alleged mystic along with Affleck′s mother, noting how she participated in the Civil Rights movement during the 1960s. Affleck specifically requested that his slave owning relative be excluded from the show, which prompted the emails between Prof. Gates and Sony Entertainment CEO, Michael Lynton.
Gates mentions in the first email that Affleck wants the information edited out. Gates also goes on to explain that in previous episodes, some 4 to 5 other guests had ancestors who were slave owners, including film maker Ken Burns. But Ben Affleck was the first to request his dark secret be deleted. Lynton responded in one email that his big question was how many people knew about it? If nobody knew the details of Affleck′s ancestor nor that it was to be removed from the final cut, then its okay. But, if people knew about it, ″…then it gets tricky.″
Now that it is public, Gates issued a statement explaining away the editorial decision that, ″…we focused on what we felt were the most interesting aspects of his ancestry″. So are you buying this explanation? Or do you believe that PBS, Sony, and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., conspired to cover-up the past of Ben Affleck in the series, ′Finding Your Roots′? Is Gates to blame as being the host and executive producer of the documentary? Or is this a case of hypocrisy on the part of Ben Affleck for being so insecure in himself and so politically correct that he felt compelled to hide his slave owning ancestor? Did Gates, PBS and Sony play the game of Double Standard by going along with this bit of CYA editing?