Ben Affleck Is Sorry He Didn’t Want The World Knowing His Ancestors Owned Slaves

“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. … 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.”

Over the weekend, it was revealed that when Ben Affleck participated in the show “Finding Your Roots,” which features celebrities learning about their family trees, he specifically asked that producers omit the revelation that he is a descendent of slave owners. In a somewhat lengthy apology released yesterday, a portion of which is above, Affleck expresses regret over the omission, though he also emphasizes that the show “isn’t a news program,” and that essentially there isn’t the same expectation of full disclosure to the public, especially of information that might “embarrass” you and your family. Still, it seems that Affleck has arrived at the conclusion that he should have originally, which is that embarrassment of our ancestors should not stop us from facing what they have done. Good on him for eating crow. [Dlisted]