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Ben Affleck regrets hiding ancestor’s slave-owning past

The actor opens up about the drama of discovering his family history
Ben Affleck regrets hiding ancestor's slave-owning past

One of the many leaked Sony emails recently published online has revealed some shocking news about actor Ben Affleck’s ancestors.

Ben had agreed to be part of the TV program Finding Your Roots, a documentary series that traces the family history of famous guests. During the course of the show, Ben found out he had an ancestor who owned slaves.

Ben, 42, then asked the producers to edit that part out of the show – and that decision was revealed to the world when WikiLeaks published the hacked Sony emails online recently.

PBS, the broadcaster behind the show, has since launched an internal investigation to decide whether Ben’s request violated their editorial standards.

Ben himself took to Facebook yesterday to own up to the controversy and even reveal the details of who the ancestor was.

“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,” he wrote.

“It is an examination well worth continuing. I am glad that my story, however indirectly, will contribute to that discussion.”

He went on to reveal the ancestor’s name was Benjamin Cole, and that he was a relative on his mother’s side “about six generations back” who lived in Georgia.

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