Ben Affleck Apologizes for Asking to Conceal Ancestor's Slave-Owning Past

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 26:  Actor Ben Affleck attends the Opening Night Gala Presentation and World Premiere of "Gone Girl" during the 52nd New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall on September 26, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Ben Affleck Apologizes for Asking to Conceal Ancestor's Slave-Owning Past

Leaked emails reveal the megastar tried to censor his history.

Published April 22, 2015

Ben Affleck has publicly apologized for asking Henry Louis Gates Jr. to conceal that his ancestor owned slaves in the PBS series Finding Your Roots. The information came out in the latest batch of leaked emails from the hacking of Sony's database.

In a message posted to Facebook on Thursday, the Gone Girl star wrote, "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."


Pointing out that stars participate in the PBS series, in which Gates traces the celebrity's ancestral roots, on a voluntary basis, Affleck adds that the revelation made him feel "quite vulnerable" and that he assumed producers would "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," he concluded. "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." is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


Latest in news