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Academy Award-winner Ben Affleck is owning up to rumors that he asked the producers Finding Your Roots to edit out footage revealing his ancestors as slave owners. Affleck took to Facebook to let fans know he was embarrassed by the revelation and thus tried to hide it from the public:

“After an exhaustive search of my ancestry for Finding Your Roots, it was discovered that one of my distant relatives was an owner of slaves.

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.

Skip decided what went into the show. I lobbied him the same way I lobby directors about what takes of mine I think they should use. This is the collaborative creative process. Skip agreed with me on the slave owner but made other choices I disagreed with. In the end, it’s his show and I knew that going in. I’m proud to be his friend and proud to have participated.

It’s important to remember that this isn’t a news program. Finding Your Roots is a show where you voluntarily provide a great deal of information about your family, making you quite vulnerable. The assumption is that they will never be dishonest but they will respect your willingness to participate and not look to include things you think would embarrass your family.

I regret my initial thoughts that the issue of slavery not be included in the story. 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. It is an examination well worth continuing. I am glad that my story, however indirectly, will contribute to that discussion. While I don’t like that the guy is an ancestor, I am happy that aspect of our country’s history is being talked about.

A PBS spokesperson claims in a statement that an internal review investigating “the circumstances” surrounding Affleck’s episode is being launched.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. annum004

    April 23, 2015 at 8:25 PM

    Even if your ancestors were slave owners, that doesn’t mean you’re one.

    Also, some slave owners were humane.

    My roots prove it. John De Balcomie treated us better than his own son, and when we were freed, we stayed home because it was better at home than anywhere else in the world.

    Also today, people are Chattel status.

    I believe slavery is a good thing if 2 or more parties enter into a bilateral contract legally with mutual assent.

    I believe that would help much of the economy.

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MOVIES

NAACP Image Awards: Twitter Goes Wild Following Ava DuVernay’s Powerful Speech

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Ava DuVernay went viral on Monday night after she delivered one heck of a speech during the NAACP Image Awards.

The female director was named Entertainer of the Year and during her acceptance speech, took a moment to speak about the Black community using our voices to create change.

“This is our time,” DuVernay said while talking about Black power players such as Shonda Rhimes and Kenya Barris. “We can say we were here when all this gorgeous art was happening, and that we supported it — that we lifted each other up, that we did as Dr. King said we would do: Live the dream. We’re the dream.”

Following the impeccable speech, viewers jumped on social media to praise DuVernay for her powerful message. “ acceptance speech on the got me JUICED to be an actor in Hollywood at this time,” one person tweeted.

Someone else wrote, “OK, redemption for the losses AVADUVERNAY , ENTERTAINER OF year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

See full list of winners from the televised show below:

Entertainer of the Year
Ava DuVernay

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Octavia Spencer, Gifted (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Outstanding Motion Picture
Girls Trip (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, black-ish (ABC)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish (ABC)

Outstanding Comedy Series
black-ish (ABC)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Omari Hardwick, Power (Starz)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Taraji P. Henson, Empire (FOX)

Outstanding Drama Series
Power (Starz)

 

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