When Ben Affleck tried to sidestep his family’s slave-owning history on PBS’s Finding Your Roots, he ended up prompting an investigation of the show as well as its indefinite postponement. But now, Finding Your Roots is back!
In April, Wikileaks revealed Sony emails that showed Affleck’s discomfort with his true family history being disclosed in an episode of PBS’s ancestral discovery show, Finding Your Roots. The messages also conveyed that Dr. Henry Louis Gates, producer and host of the show (as well as Harvard’s Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research), didn’t really want to omit Affleck’s fairly average closet skeleton but acquiesced anyway.
After that information was made public, PBS paused Finding Your Roots in June. Affleck’s apologized about the incident on Facebook back in April, and Gates issued his own mea culpa for letting an actor decide what does and doesn’t appear on his show.
Now, after presumably hiring a new fact-checker and an independent genealogist—two things that PBS reportedly demanded before the show’s return, per the New York Times—Finding Your Roots returns in January for a third season. Da Gawd Shonda Rhimes, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Senator John McCain, Norman Lear and more are on deck to have their pasts splayed out, according to Shadow and Act. Let’s unfurl all of the slavers and slaves!
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