Ben Affleck comments on his Facebook statement, changes his tune

On Tuesday night, Ben Affleck finally commented on the days-old controversy that he asked the PBS show Finding Your Roots to remove a segment referencing his ancestor who had owned slaves. Affleck framed it as a collaborative decision, similar to the way he would influence a director to edit scenes for a film. He failed to acknowledge showrunner Henry Louis Gates’s concerns over compromising journalistic integrity, and he dismissed the show as not “a news program.” He also made it clear that he did influence Gates to edit his ancestor, stating in part that he felt vulnerable and embarrassed. “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.”

There were some decent parts in Affleck’s statement in which he acknowledged that he shouldn’t have done that, but overall he went on a little too long and made it about him. He also worked to get people to understand his position instead of trying to convey an understanding of why this was a problem.

In a new comment to Facebook, Affleck changes his tune somewhat. He says that some sites framed it as “censorship” (we did that, as did Gates in his original emails to Sony head Michael Lynton) and that it wasn’t like that, it was just no big deal.

Thanks for the comments here. To clarify, because I see this story being framed as “censorship” on some sites, when I told Skip I was uneasy about the slave owner, he told me he had not included it in his preliminary cut because there wasn’t much detail – a name and no details, so he wasn’t going with it to begin with. He also told me they would do a book later with a more complete story, and I said I would be happy to participate and talk about the issues more broadly.

[From Facebook]

So in his original statement, Ben said this: “I lobbied [Gates, he calls him Skip] the same way I lobby directors about what takes of mine I think they should use.” Then in his follow up, he claims all he did was tell Gates he “was uneasy” and then Gates told him it didn’t matter because he had already removed that part. This is despite the fact that Affleck’s segment on Finding Your Roots was largely about race (see NPR’s coverage for more) and despite the fact that Gates’ emails to Lynton contradict this. Gates was incredibly concerned about being asked to censor the show, and not once did Affleck acknowledge this. PBS is conducting an internal investigation to ensure their editorial standards haven’t been compromised, and their statement says that “We have been moving forward deliberately yet swiftly to conduct this review.” Affleck must know this.

Affleck’s statements don’t add up. Either he lobbied for this change and it was a big deal to him because he felt embarrassed and vulnerable (his first statement) or he just told Gates he was “uneasy” and Gates told him he didn’t plan to include that information anyway. It’s possible that Gates got an email from Affleck, emailed Lynton, and then played it off like it was no biggie to remove that part and he meant to do it anyway. If that’s what happened why didn’t Affleck explain it that way in the first place? He could be telling the truth in both statements, they’re not necessarily contradictory, but he’s handled this all very poorly.

Oh and Affleck also posted another comment revealing his ancestor’s name. He said “Lots of people here have been asking who the guy was. His name was Benjamin Cole – lived in Georgia on my Mom’s side about six generations back.

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102 Responses to “Ben Affleck comments on his Facebook statement, changes his tune”

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  1. MelissaManifesto says:

    I would have probably hidden it to. It’s no badge of honor and I think we should move on already. It’s all in the open now but he shouldn’t have to pay for this error.

    • denisemich says:

      Our biggest flaw will always pop up unless we deal with it. Ben’s biggest flaw is his desire to be respected and be perceived as morally correct.

      JLo said that about him a long time ago. She said that was what broke them up. He couldn’t stand for people to not respect him or not think he was great. He has to appear perfect.

      Skip Gates is a revered Harvard Professor and this shouldn’t bring him down. He did the right thing by asking someone higher on the totem pole what to do.

      Ben Affleck just showed us who he is, believe it.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Agree. If you have to control your image to the extent that you lie about something you had no control over, you have a problem.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        Soooooo…..a person wanting to be respected is a bad thing?

      • Kara says:

        do you have a source on that? i cant find it via google. i dont doubt the JLo comments, just want to read her words on it.

      • PennyLane says:

        The thing is, there isn’t anybody higher on the totem pole than Skip Gates. He’s an incredibly powerful, successful, and well-connected Harvard professor. Gates is also a very well respected scholar and has done a lot of groundbreaking work in his research and writing.

        Gates is at the top of his field and has done multiple documentaries with PBS. This information was relevant and should’ve stayed in, and the fact that HLG even reached out to some showbiz type for advice is just kind of weird. He totally had the power to say no, which is why PBS’s investigating things. It’s compromised his integrity and I’m disappointed. Narcissistic Hollywood actors wanting to control their story is one thing, but bigshot Harvard professors caving into them is quite another.

      • The Other Pinky says:

        I thought Jlo left him because he clearly didn’t want to marry her….strip clubs, call girls, drinking binges right before a wedding.

      • Kiddo says:

        @PennyLane, I’m more disappointed in PBS, myself.

      • Jayna says:

        LOL I’ve seen a lot of things about their breakup but not that. I saw Jen admit her huge entourage always around, makeup artists, assistants, hanger-oners, in her home all the time and everywhere was a big factor in the breakdown of the relationship and Ben backing out of the wedding. She also admitted it might be partly the reason for her breakup with Marc also.

      • Bobbityboo says:

        I recall someone in NOLA once asking Brad Pitt why he didn’t go into politics, Brad said it wasn’t for him, maybe ask Ben Affleck as he’s more of a politician. At the time I was like, hah, I think Brad just threw some shade…now I’m positive he threw some very accurate shade. Lol

      • Bobbityboo says:

        Oh man…now the Daily Fail is reporting Affleck is actually descended from at *least* 3 slave owning ancestors, one a conneticut man by the name of Nathanial Stanley who bought a little boy for 80lbs to work in his New England tannery.

      • Emma - the JP Lover says:

        @Denisemich, who wrote: “Our biggest flaw will always pop up unless we deal with it. Ben’s biggest flaw is his desire to be respected and be perceived as morally correct.”

        Along with his obsessive need for, and love of, attention.

      • Beep says:

        bobbityboo, Brad Pitt seems like he’s a lot like Ben affleck when it comes to needing to be liked. He would probably be too afraid of the dirt that would come out about him if he went into politics.

      • Bobbityboo says:

        To @beep, yeah Brad really wants to be ‘liked,’ which is why he dumped everyone’s beloved and oh so relatable tv sitcom hack plain Jane, for ‘Angelina Jolie,’ and speaks regularly of his racist Missouri Bible Belt upbringing that he had to escape from.

        He also wants to be soooo liked by this Christian nation, he’s come out and told the world that his upbringing was so influential and hypocritical, that he’s now an Atheist. If there’s one way to get all the love and ‘like,’ in ‘Murca – it’s to tell them you don’t believe in Jesus. Bahaha.

        So yeah…YOUR opinion re Pitt = fail and unsupported.

        But one thing we can agree sure don’t like you some ‘Brad Pitt,’ – what’s wrong girl?

        Still enabling the tv sit com ex? Still bitter? How about you ‘get over it,’ hon…it’s been a decade plus.

        Brad Pitt, is a good, honest accomplished man….- he’d never do what Affleck did…he’s too real, and too smart – and recognizes these stories make up our shameful past, which is why he brings them to the fore, in films like Oscar winning ’12 Years a Slave,’ and Oscar nom’d ‘Selma.’

        So stop hatin’ – he’s got the amazing partner that suits him now. They’re quite the team. Don’t be mad.

        Let it gooooooooooooo…let it gooooooo.

      • denisemich says:

        @Kara, JLo said it in an interview. I believe it was on Behind the Music on VH1….

    • Sarah says:

      But we can’t continue to hide from these things. Sadly, there are a very lot of people in the US – myself included – who had slave-owning ancestors. It is what it is. Doesn’t mean that I am automatically a racist or a white supremacist. It means I had an ancestor who – like many of his time – owned other human beings. Brutal. Wrong. Disgusting. But it happened and not talking about it doesn’t make it go away. It just suppresses any opportunity for discussion and healing. I would have expected more of Ben than this. Showing his discomfort and embarrassment on the show would have been powerful.

      • Justagirl says:

        @denisemuch “Ben’s biggest flaw is his desire to be respected and be perceived as morally correct.

        JLo said that about him a long time ago. She said that was what broke them up. He couldn’t stand for people to not respect him or not think he was great. He has to appear perfect.”

        Interesting insight from JLo. Treating others with respect & decency and expecting the same in return is healthy & normal. Needing to appear perfect & morally correct – that’s the sign of someone who is neither, and likely has significant moral sketchiness themselves. Being irritated/angry if people don’t respect him or think he’s great – that’s the sign of someone who is controlling.

        This attempt at censorship, his lack of accountability & excusing his actions, his focus on himself & no one else, the massive changes in his story like he didn’t say something entirely different two days ago – moral sketchiness, controlling, manipulative. Cold, unfeeling eyes, he only cares about himself.

  2. NewWester says:

    It might have been easier if they had just included the information. People would be interested for a moment and then move on.

    • LadyMTL says:

      I was going to say the same thing. He’s hardly alone in having an ancestor he wished didn’t exist (I’m sure I’d have tons), but with all of this explaining and backtracking, he’s making himself look worse and worse. If he had just left it in the show I’m sure none of us would be talking about it at all.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yes. Nobody with any sense would hold it against him. I would never have known about it, for example, because I wouldn’t watch a show about his ancestry. I could care less. Now, it’s a big story, and he’s just making it worse.

    • Dani2 says:

      Exactly. Anderson Cooper was also revealed to have had a slave-owning ancestor and when he was told that his ancestor was killed by said slave, he said he thought his ancestor deserved it and that was the end of it, there was never any big media attention drawn to it. That’s what Ben should have done. Just let it be know and keep it moving.

      • Green Girl says:

        Yup, agreed. I don’t watch this program, so I never saw Anderson Cooper’s segment. I don’t recall seeing anything in the gossip blogs reporting on it at that time (although I could be wrong). The only way I know about his reaction to his family’s history now is because everyone is saying “THIS is how BA should have handled it!”

      • RedSoxGirl says:

        exactly Dani2! I actually saw the Anderson Cooper one and not only was he killed, he was beaten with a gardening hoe! Anderson’s response was “Of course he deserved it! I should be careful what I say so I don’t offend any relatives, but I’m more concerned with what happened to the poor slave that did it.” THAT’S how you handle it.

    • laura in LA says:

      Exactly, and it seems now like he’s digging himself in deeper everyday. Good that he named the slave-owning ancestor, but if they’d left it in, this all never would’ve happened.

    • ava7 says:

      I doubt it. I think it would have been on sites like this all over the place.

  3. Kath says:

    I really can’t stand this guy and his ego. Every time he’s a guest on a panel show he talks so loud and incessantly, as if his opinion (as an overpaid movie actor) is more important than the experts sitting next to him.

    He’s the opposite of Matt Damon in terms of talent and intelligence, so it’s interesting that they’re still friends.

    • silken_floss says:

      I love everything about your comment <3

    • Regina Phalange (formerly Kara) says:

      Agreed. Yet so many people think he is soooo smart? He is a douche canoe.

    • jinni says:

      Birds of a feather…
      Maybe Matt’s just better at hiding his douche side from the public.

      • BangersandMash says:

        Or maybe Matt has it together and grew out of being a 19 year old douche, while Ben can’t seem to get out of it.

      • jinni says:

        @BangersandMash: But then why would a well-adjusted grown up man like Matt want hang out and be business partners with a 19 year old douche trapped in an old guy body, if they no longer had much in common?

    • Cannibell says:

      This. He strikes me as an overentitled asshole. A talented overentitled asshole whose work I appreciate, but that’s as close as I ever want to get to the guy.

      • Kath says:

        To me he exemplifies someone who found success very young and has had Hollywood blowing smoke up his rear about how wonderful he is for 20 years, so just assumes that he’s the shiz in all areas. He may be reasonably intelligent when compared to other actors, but not in the real world, which is why it’s so cringe worthy to hear him talk over political experts, academics etc. Then he just sounds like the arrogant and uneducated tool he is.

        Sorry, got on a bit of a roll on this subject…!

    • Jayna says:

      Actually, he may be a loud mouth, but Matt has always talked about Ben’s intelligence and knowledge on many subjects. Matt is a better actor. But as a director and even on his screenplays, Ben is far more talented than Matt, as evidenced by Matt’s first screenplay and directorial debut a couple of years ago that didn’t do so good. If truth be told, I’m pretty sure Ben wrote more of the screenplay Good Will Hunting. I’m not saying Matt wasn’t very involved. I just think Ben is more gifted and so was more of a driving force in that screenplay than originally thought.

      I read an interview by them and the other actors on the anniversary of Good Will Hunting, which was fascinating, and it was a year or so before Robin Williams died and so he was part of the interview. I had no idea how long it took them to get this movie made, almost aging them out of the parts they demanded to play. And the paper that was written by Matt for a college course and the germ of the movie, when he asked Ben to collaborate with him and they worked on it for a full movie script, Matt himself said most of what he had already written was not used. They worked closely together on it for many years, but I have no doubt Ben was more of the talent in that screenplay.

      It’s interesting they’re still friends? Wow. They adore each other and will always have each other’s backs. Matt moved bac to California to be closer by with Ben so their kids could grow up together and he and Ben could collaborate more on their projects.

      Matt has said, when Ben’s career fell apart and he was a joke tabloid magnet, that he wished everyone could see the Ben he has known all of his life

      Ben might be jerky at times, but I’ve never seen anyone wonder why he and Matt are friends. Ben has always been loyal to Matt and vice versa.

    • bella says:

      yeah…BA is all of this.
      SO disappointing since he’s from my hometown and i want to be proud.
      don’t know if it’s fair to say that matt damon is of the same low caliber as affleck though simply because “birds of a feather…”
      i have plenty of friends i’ve known since chidlhood who i love in spite of the tools they’ve turned out to be…
      maybe that’s what damon experiences with affleck…
      to me, damon is sweet, humble, unassuming…
      everything opposite of affleck.

    • dottylassy says:

      Obviously, you didn’t see Matt Damon talking about public school, Jeb Bush and berating a female journalist. Damon is not so different from Affleck, he’s just less visible. Birds of a feather flock together.

    • Bobbityboo says:

      Affleck’s main problem is that I think he (and quite possibly his family – perhaps that’s where the predilection came from) wrapped himself up in this Boston brahmin blue blood Plymouth Rock Yankee descendant of Revolutionaries, hahvahhrd MYTH….I think he saw himself as this one thing, which had more status, and NOT as you’re run of the mill descendant of racists, hillbillies and slave masters. The family and he really embraced their Northeast roots, it was classier. I recall he made class distinctions even when he was with J.Lo (why Jen Garner’s Virginny roots didn’t bother him, I don’t know…maybe he has a need to feel superior to his significant others)

      In fact, i recall when Gwyn Paltrow supposedly destroyed her relationship with Brad Pitt (by cheating on him with either Weinstein, Viggo Mortensen, or someone else, lol – as was rumored) Affleck, new up and coming movie stah was enlisted to be her boyfriend for PR reasons – to keep Her name in the klieglights, and to make her look like a perfect innocent princess – who not only could have been the one done wrong by Pitt…but who also was above him in station.

      It was said her circle (which included Miramax and Weinstein at the time) went on a campaign to smear Brad (Brad has spoken of this in old interviews…she already was awful, then she doubled down with her smear tactics) – anyway, there were articles that attempted to make Paltrow look good, and Pitt look bad, and like a country rube not good enough for her anyway – have people thinking, ‘How could princess Paltrow make a go of it with him, anyway? They just don’t suit.’

      They (PR/Weinstein) put out pieces on her new bf Affleck like: ‘Ben Affleck the Thinking Man’s Brad Pitt ‘ playing up the blue blood ‘Bahston,’ lineage…and juxtaposing with southerner bible belt Pitt, from a middle class family.

      So excuse me, if I find this more than a bit HILARIOUS schadenfreude …and Im a black woman btw. Hahaha

      • Argirl says:

        @bobbityboo All your intense Brad Pitt defensiveness makes me not want to like him. I’m sure that’s not what you’re going for since you clearly have hinted that everyone should also think very highly of him. You might want to take a less aggressive approach if you don’t want to turn people off.

      • Bobbityboo says:

        To @argirl – I’ve never really *gotten* immature weak responses like yours. Seriously, you sound 12.

        How in Gawd’s name does a stranger on a celebrity message board influence your like or dislike of another person? You don’t know me. How can I possibly be that influential to your thought processes (what little of them there are)?

        You have the same set of adult reasoning tools that I do I would hope. You don’t need me to make up your mind for you dear. I am not Google, or Wiki, or Entertainment Tonight – my opinion or defense of anyone or anything, doesn’t have to control what you do.

        If i told you to never eat deep fried snickers bars more than once a day, would you eat 3 just to spite me?

        Seriously, read your own post again – then go get help.

        You’re way too impressionable and silly to be living on your own, without your mama or an adult telling you what to think.

        It’s just my opinion, but my guess is you’re prone to dislike Brad Pitt no matter what I say – which is fine by me. He’s got lots of haters, especially among the sad, mad reject types….but please don’t be disingenuous and make it sound like one little poster on a message board influences your opinion on other human beings.

        I mean really, my ego is fairly large enough – i don’t need to be credited with controlling angry still bitter women from the mid 2000’s on the internets.

        Let it gooooooooo.

      • anon33 says:

        Bobbityboo, quoting “let it go” at the end makes YOU sound 12. In case you were wondering.

      • Ennie says:

        I have noticed how there are a fe fans from B Affleck around. It feels funny because I do not see him a a really big star o a really big anything. He seems to me like he tries hard, and is kind of good at what he does.
        I like Brad Pitt and I remember some quotes regarding Affleck and comparing him to Brad. Brad likes to speak his mind but he is not pas political as Affleck. Just as Bobbytyboo said, if he really wanted to become a politician, he would’ve stayed with the “correct”, pleasing crowd instead of running away to the Goth girl.
        I see in Bobbytyboo posts more trashing at Affleck than defending Pitt, but if you already dislike Pitt (as some here do dislike him and his family), then you’ll see “defending Pitt-Hving a JP agenda” for every side.
        I kind of dislike Affleck a bit for his treatment of JLo in almost every interview. This manipulation of information to hide information is shameful. He could’ve used it and turn it around. Even Bumpersticker, sorry, Cumberbatch participated in 12 Years a Slave, and tried to reflect into his relatives slave trader’s past, IIRC.

      • Argirl says:

        @bobbityboo I suggest you look up the definition of “ad hominem.” It will explain why your reply is irrelevant to the discussion. Thanks for the insults though. Bless your heart.

  4. Greata says:

    Why is it so difficult for this tool to simply say , “I was wrong to do what I did. I panicked and I asked Gates to break the rules for me. It was a case of gross entitlement.”

    • Dońt kill me i'm french says:


    • jinni says:

      You need to be a professional celeb apology writer because that was the prefect way to put an end to this conversation without coming off badly and making things worst.

    • Jayna says:

      You should have written his statement. Less is more and humble and to the point. You nailed it perfectly.

    • Beth says:


    • ¡mire usted! says:

      @Greata Seriously, Affleck should hire you. Perfect – simple, humble and brief. Honestly it would put a complete stop to the uproar but that’s not Affleck. He should have hired you to clear up the Bennifer scandal too! LOL

      • Greata says:

        @¡mire usted! Yeah.. thats me Greata Have Pen Will Travel…LOL..but that would mean that he actually believed that he had made a mistake. Batfleck (in his mind) simply does not know what the fuss is all about.

  5. Amanda says:

    I don’t see why he made such a stink about it in the first place. He’s white and American — it’s highly likely in that scenario there’s a slave owner somewhere up the family tree. Unless your family recently immigrated here, that’s likely the case. I don’t think most people would have batted an eye, just an “oh, yeah, that would make sense.” The shame is on his ancestors, but he made a big brouhaha and now shame on him for trying to cover it up.

    • MrsNix says:

      Exactly. This, exactly. No matter what race you identify as in our country, if your family has roots in America for more than a hundred years, somewhere in your family tree, there was a slave owner or a slave–most likely both. Most of my ancestry were poor dirt farmers, but there is one line that descended from France, and they owned lots of slaves. I also have two generations of indentured servants who lived and worked with slaves. I fail to see how acknowledging that they were there is something to be ashamed of. Slavery was here. It happened. It was done. We all benefit, whether directly or indirectly, from a great evil that was perpetrated to build the nation. It is a naked and ugly truth in almost every developed society, and our country fought a war over it. So. Yeah. You dig back, you’re gonna find slavery in your family tree.

      His “image” is just not relevant. This just makes no sense to me at all.

  6. Anastasia says:

    I’ve been researching my own family tree for a while now, and my mother has been doing it for 15 years. I’ve come to the conclusion that if you are white, and your family has been in this country for at least 150-200 years, ESPECIALLY if they lived in the south at any point, the chances you’ll have at least one (if not more) slave-owning ancestor is pretty darn high. We’ve uncovered four already. There will probably be more.

    (When you get back to the great x 8 generation of grandparents, there are 1,024 of them. Double that number for every generation you go back.)

    Of course it’s upsetting to find this out, but not particularly shocking. What I don’t agree with is how Affleck covered it up, and asked PBS to cover it up. It’s nothing we’re proud of AT ALL, in fact quite the opposite, but we can’t rewind the past and change it.

    He shouldn’t have interfered in the editing process and asked them to violate their integrity.

    • Bobbityboo says:


    • Bobbityboo says:

      Also add in the fact that about 90% of African-Americans have white admixture (gee…how did that happen?) – it also stands to reason that there’s a slave owning ancestor in their family tree as well.

      Watch Derek Jeters ‘Finding Your Roots,’ it’s pretty fascinating…but then probably not that unusual in the slightest. Derek, who’s biracial – mother white, father black – always thought that the ‘Jeter,’ name was his father’s side of the family’s ‘slave name.’ Slaves had their master’s surnames when emancipated and freed. But he finds out on the show that white Slave Master Jeter was actually his black father’s forebearer, so he’s descended from slaves and slave masters…an all too common story in African American lineage.

      Hey! Maybe Ben Affleck has slave forebearers! Did Ben do the DNA swab? If he didn’t…we may find out that THAT is the real reason he wanted to shut down ol’ Massa Ben Cole. Maybe his children were his slaves, and related to Affleck.

    • ava7 says:

      Actually, even if you are black you could find that your (black) forefathers owned slaves, too!

  7. Catelina says:

    I honestly don’t think anyone would hold it against him. He has no connection to this person other than lineage, and none of us could help that. This didn’t need to be a big deal and he made it one.

  8. jen2 says:

    At this point, this story is still in the news because he is still talking about it. Now it is turning into a PR issue and he keeps making a mess, then trying to clean it up. He just keeps making it worse. He should just stop talking, as he just sounds defensive and clueless then he changes his tune, makes it sound worse and digs the hole deeper. He should just keep quiet and it will go away, but I am not sure that is what he wants as he uses any excuse to keep on talking.

    Having slave owners as ancestors is probably very common if you come from the South. Next he will bring up that he probably also has some relatives who descended from slaves, which is a distinct possibility and will open up a whole different can of worms. Whatever the topic, he should say just stop talking and move the hell on.

  9. Abbott says:

    Six generations from now, his descendents will try to hide the fact that he was Batfleck.

  10. poppy says:

    Make up your mind ffs you vain cry baby hack.
    and now everyone knows he’s a bossy egomaniac that has the balls to tell directors what takes to use, show runners how to edit their shows, etc.
    he is such an idiot with a huge side of jack @ss.
    he made a mountain out of a non-issue.
    working with him would give me multiple brain aneurysms.

  11. Kiddo says:

    He should just stop. One comment is enough; good, bad or indifferent.

  12. Jayna says:

    I think he came back with this statement because the first statement hurt Gates and his integrity and he probably heard back from him about it, so he tried to clarify it in a different way that didn’t impugn Gates’ integrity on not including it. But it is kind of too late on that. It’s clear he left it out on purpose after discussion with Ben by reading that in is own words in the hacked e-mails, not that he was never going to include it, even if now Ben is trying to do damage control for Gates’ reasoning for not including it.

  13. Tiffany says:

    I really believe that there is a reason he requested this be edited. Someone like NPR could have looked further and not just into his ancestors. Dude screwed up somewhere or at the time the segment was taped. I do not take this guy at face value at all.

  14. Kath says:

    Germans still deal with a lot of remorse over the things done by their ancestors, but no sane person holds someone responsible for what their forebears did before they were even born! Yet by acknowledging it openly, Germany gets much more respect in this area than Japan, which obfuscates and denies the past. A lesson for Batfleck.

  15. insomniac says:

    Damn, Batfleck — would you like a backhoe so you can dig yourself in a little deeper?

    I can’t even stand Affleck, but I’d never have held what one of his ancestors did against him. But he’s just making himself look worse and worse as he tries to explain his way out of the coverup.

  16. MrsBPitt says:

    Celebitchy….I woud like to know why my comment was taken off? I do not believe I said anything that would have offended anyone….I didn’t even type in all caps!! lol

  17. kri says:

    Affleck was an a%%hole yesterday, and he’s still one today. What selfish, arrogant pr!ck,

  18. Colette says:

    Ben is not the only celeb who has asked PBS to omit info.Whoopie Goldberg said she asked Gates to omit info to protect some living members of her family.Much ado about nothing.If I found out my great grandfather was a rapist, I would want it omitted to not cause embarassment for my mother or grandmother.

  19. Mispronounced Name Dropper says:

    There was a report about this on TV tonight and the guy talking about it said “We don’t have Finding Your Roots in Australia. We have Tinder!” Gold!

  20. Jayna says:

    Ben needs to study Liam Neeson. He says things and gets backlash and moves on, no damage control, no agent or publicist defending him, no whining by Liam, nada. The news/tabloid cycle moves on quickly. I’ve always admired that about him, whether what he says I agree or disagree with. He is no whiner and no over-the-top damage control like all these singers and man-child actors or even actresses pull all the time every time they say or do something that gets some backlash. Either don’t say it or accept the backlash and move on or own it or make a short statement, not all of these crafted mea culpas by their press people and playing the victim, blah, blah.

    Ben had to address this, though, since PBS and Gates were involved and leaked e-mails for everyone to read, but I agree a short FB comment regarding it, and move on was the best way to go. Less is more in words, Ben.

  21. Coco says:

    He’s just getting more ridiculous. Now he claims the opposite of what he said yesterday and expects nobody to notice!!! Wtf?

    This is what happens when you’re surrounded by yes people who never tell you the truth or pull you up on your behaviour. You think that they don’t notice you’re lying/misbehaving because they pretend not to notice or care so you assume you can do and say what you want without consequence and expect everybody to respond by telling you how right and wonderful you are as the yes people do.

    He’s digging an even bigger hole when one never needed to exist in the first place. His ego is the problem and those indulging it are doing him a huge disservice.

  22. meme says:

    And he digs the hole a little deeper…STOP TALKING!

  23. CB says:

    I really don’t think this deserves the attention it’s getting. Has anyone looked at the Middle East lately? How about us finding out the DOJ has spent 40 years falsifying evidence? How about Lynch’s confirmation? She has never met a 4th amendment abuse she didn’t like.

    SO WHAT that he didn’t want people to know? SO WHAT?

  24. Allison says:

    White Southerner and New Orleans resident here. I kinda get Affleck in the sense of embarrassment as well as the vulnerablity. The prevailing race culture here reflects a deep anger from many people in the black community towards whites. While I am not ignorant and understand the anger is justified, it is frustrating and exhausting to be bracing continually for negative and sometimes meancing encounters that regularly occur just going about errands.

    My family are poor whites, and all I know of my history is we come from sharecroppers, some who lived and worked in the fields side by side with black sharecroppers. Personally this knowledge makes me feel like I don’t have to apologize for the entire white race, my family owned no slaves. Guilt for white privilege, yes, but not because I am a person who benefited from slave labor. I am one of the many of any race working to stay scarely above poverty. I never foresee earning enough to rise up in class status.

    To comment on Brad Pitt — the general attitude I see here in the white community is that he means well but he is a wannabe architect and he is operating from a place of rich white guilt. There was alot of eye rolling about his recent bike tour of the lower ninth ward, with personal photographer in tow, visiting residents in the homes built by his Make It Right foundation. If he really wants to Make It Right, he ought to look beyond his little row of houses, open his eyes to see the great need for access to basics in New Orleans. Terrible public transportation in a city where many do not have a car, vast homelessness due to unreasonable eligibilty criteria and extremely long waiting lists for public housing, and, to come full circle, a need for developing and funding community programs that aim to educate and improve race relations.

    • Bobbityboo says:

      Hi Allison

    • Bobbityboo says:

      Whoops –

      Hi Allison,

      A few things about your b*tching and moaning, and the so called menace you face from blacks still enraged over slavery according to you:

      1) You need to read a few history books. It’s rare in the face of a people’s dehumanization, murder, rape and maiming over the course of 300 years, will you find a people so willing to forgive whites at each twist and turn in our country’s history. Through slavery, lynchings, rapes and murders, you’d find blacks begging to fight for their country to prove to the racist whites who made the racist laws, that they were worthy of full citizenship. BEGGED to fight and die for their country, and they did…fight and die…and what happened – they STILL were spit on, killed, maimed, and discriminated against…black soldiers were treated better abroad in France during WWI than in their own towns back home where they might be found swinging from a tree for daring to be ‘uppity,’ by wearing their soldier uniforms and flashing their honorable discharge papers in the hopes they wouldn’t get beaten or murdered when pulled over late at night. Blacks time and time again, have come crawling to whites to prove their worth, as sick as that sounds as how can you prove your worth to the devil who wants you dead. but maybe it was the slave mentality that made them so eager to please.

      So when you LIE and obfuscate and pretend that first slavery ended, and then second, blacks became enraged and menaced poor white you – i want to literally kick my computer out the window. When I think of all the domestics, Pullman porters, servants, menial laborers who worked til sun up and sun down SERVING whites and smiling in their faces, even as they were being lynched and spit on…it makes me want to scream at your hateful UGLY ignorance.

      If you’re getting the evil eye from a black person in 2015, i guarantee you, slavery has zip to do with it, and your ugly bigoted disdainful attitude has EVERYTHING to do with it.

      I call bullshite on your whole post, including the ignorant ungrateful rude bitter comments about Brad Pitt (a consistent humanitarian presence who rolled up his shirt sleeves, and helped rebuild the community your own government let drown and wanted to throw away – believe me, from the people who actually are IN the lower 9th, he doesn’t get ‘eye rolling,’ he gets warm embraces from friends — Google it) ….it’s sickening you mention some singular bicycle tour, when the man and his family have a home in NOLA, and has worked and contributed in that community, brought film productions, built homes, helped schools and communities at large pretty consistently for the last 8 years…yet you bring up how you saw him on a bike ONCE?! He runs a successful charity and foundation, Einstein, that the people and officials down there SUPPORT – but they have to KNOW about it first (I’ll let that sink in)…How about the many other visits and work he’s done consistently for YEARS – or any of his other projects that his foundation supports and operates. Why don’t you get up off your whiny lying arse and do the same, instead of attacking good people making a difference, and trying to demonize black people and add to racial tensions??!!

      The only thing almost as bad as a racist, is a resentful do nothing who wants to spit in the eye of actual good people trying to make the world a better place. I don’t think you realize it, but Brad Pitt is not your elected officials, he’s not your government, he doesn’t have to to do jackshite. He can take his family, his millions, his time, and his work ethic…and chill on a tropical island. He chooses to be a positive force for good, and for change, and to actually rectify what your own elected officials destroyed. …and this is the thanks someone like him gets from bigoted stupid types like you.

      If you’re miserable, it’s got to be karma.

      • Allison says:

        hi Bobbityboo
        I feel miserable. I am very sorry for my post. Thank you for responding and educating me and for your suggestions and points. You have given me great pause for deeper self exploration and general educational consideration.
        I am a social worker in the local charity hospital and work almost singularly with persons in the black community who sick or suffering from terminal illness. I am often verbally assaulted on the job on the basis of being white and an asumption that I am well to do. On my salary, I can barely pay rent, which has become very high mainly post Katrina and with the film industry being embedded here. I do not have a car, so I am dependent on public transport.
        I do have some positive encounters with black individuals but they are the exception. It is very saddening because in my heart I want to help the state of race and class relations but I get met with disdain and assumptions from whites and blacks both. I always speak up when I hear racist comments from white colleagues at the hospital. I honestly thought I was one of the open minded good people.
        I apologize for my bigotry, and you are right, slavery still exists. I want to learn to be a better and more compassionate person.
        peace to you

    • Emma - the JP Lover says:

      @Allison, who wrote: “If he really wants to Make It Right, he ought to look beyond his little row of houses, open his eyes to see the great need for access to basics in New Orleans. Terrible public transportation in a city where many do not have a car, vast homelessness due to unreasonable eligibilty criteria and extremely long waiting lists for public housing, and, to come full circle, a need for developing and funding community programs that aim to educate and improve race relations.”

      Exactly when was Brad Pitt elected Mayor of New Orleans? I missed it.

      • Allison says:

        He is not responsible. I guess I
        made the comment since others mentined him. I work closely to help ailing black persons living in abject poverty on a daily basis and there are very few resources here. Programs are soefully underfunded. Pitt is to be commended for his foundation and for helping, I never thought otherwise. There’s just so much more need than anyone understands. I’ve gotten frustrated with all the Hollywood money in New Orleans yet people can’t get access to quality medical care, their medicines, pay for oxygen, afford a phone, healthy food, a car…just the basics for living. There’s a five year wait list for public housing, there’s similiar long lists for nursing homes and home sitters for those on hospice or the elderly. I’ve seen this going on four years as a social worker at the charity hospital and it is heartbreaking.
        Again, I apologize for my post. I hope my attempt to elaborate doesn’t bring about more upset. I am now painfully aware that I have a great deal to learn.

  25. anne_000 says:

    DM has an article out about how BA actually has THREE slave-owning ancestors (two of them Northerners) and that the excuse that there wasn’t enough information to make it an interesting segment is false.

    The grandfather of the Revolutionary War ancestor that BA ‘allowed’ to be shown was a slave-owner and there’s lots of info on him.

    It’s like what others upthread said. All he had to do was let it show, then it would have slid off like it did for the other four to five celebrities that had slave-owning ancestors. Now, because of the cover up, it’s become more ingrained in the public mind. LOL.

    • Jayna says:

      So that makes all of this type tabloid slinging on Daily Mail okay now? Lets really embarrass him and show he has slave owners everywhere in his ancestors. Jesus, people act like he committed treason in asking for the ancestor to not be talked about. It was bad judgment, nothing more.

      Gates never mentioned three. Gates because of all of this is who is getting screwed because of his leaked email. And this Daily Fail crap like this making it into something like this, scandal three slave owners, a poor little boy one of the slaves, is typical tabloid coverage. Gates is the one being hurt by the DM now going for overkill and it will hurt Gates more than Ben to throw out this stuff. Ben said he was embarrassed to have this as his history and on the show. So now lets all applaud Daily Mail for making it uglier and digging deep. Ben most like revised his FB comment because it hurt Gates in saying he changed it for him. He probably heard from Gates and so revised it said that Gates was always going a different route and not enough there. That’s to protect Gates’ integrity. Is everyone happy that PBS is investigating Gates over this? He could lose his job? So Ben comes back and tries to cover Gates, which is silly in that Gates emails show he was only changing it because Ben wanted it, but it’s clearly obvious that’s what the new FB post was designed to do, protect Gates’ integrity.

      This is so silly now. It’s blowing up now and people are going to applaud Daily Mail for that? All it will do is get Gates fired. Great.

      The hatred for Ben on here is bizarre. The guy was embarrassed and made a request that he shouldn’t have. Gates didn’t have to do it, wasn’t forced to, and did it. Now his leaked emails are hurting his career also. Whoopi said she had something not put on the show. It was an error in judgment from Ben for a TV show. And people act like he murdered someone.

      • I Choose Me says:

        This is how I feel about the whole thing too Jayna. Ben made a snafu and now he just needs to stop talking about it and let it die. I hope we can all let it die. And I agree that people who already hated Ben Affleck are using this to further fuel their dislike.

      • anne_000 says:

        Any time there’s an article about a celebrity and not everybody is kissing that celebrity’s @ss but offers up a critical opinion, then someone else comes along and defines any criticism as ‘hate.’

        I think some people put too much value on these celebrities that if you have any criticism about them, then it’s a sin.

        It’s not a sin. It’s not hate. It’s an opinion. Simple.

    • anne_000 says:

      @Jayna –

      ” Lets really embarrass him and show he has slave owners everywhere in his ancestors.”

      I don’t see how it’s embarrassing for him to have less than desirable ancestors. Everybody does. I think the embarrassing part is how he tried to cover it up and then come up with different crappy excuses. Lame.
      “Jesus, people act like he committed treason in asking for the ancestor to not be talked about. It was bad judgment, nothing more.”

      I never said he committed treason. I think it was censorship on his part, though he won’t acknowledge it and now he’s making it sound like Gates has already decided to take it out before he even asked for him to do so. It is extremely bad judgement by both Affleck and Gates. And that’s what the controversy is actually about. Not that Affleck had slave-owning ancestors. I don’t think anybody is surprised about that time in US history. It’s that Affleck and Gates look like they tried to cover it up. Like someone upthread said, it’s the cover up that makes it look worse than what it was originally. Think Nixon and Martha Stewart.
      “Gates never mentioned three.”

      I never said Gates mentioned three. I don’t know why he didn’t find all three though. I don’t know the chronology of when Affleck found out about the first one and when he requested that it be taken out of the episode or as he’s saying now, Gates pre-empted his asking by taking it out before a request was made. So I don’t know when finding slave-owning ancestors by genealogists was frowned upon during the process and thus their not supposedly finding the other two. I find it odd that they found a Revolutionary War ‘hero’ Jesse Stanley but didn’t know about his grandfather when the Stanleys were prominent and there seems to be much written records about that family.
      ” And this Daily Fail crap like this making it into something like this, scandal three slave owners, a poor little boy one of the slaves, is typical tabloid coverage.”

      Like I said, the cover up made it worse. There would have been no further stories if Affleck had just let it air and not want it taken out so that the only ancestors mentioned were ‘heroes’ as if he comes from only perfectly wonderful people and that it would reflect on his own character and image. Like Anderson Cooper, Kenneth Burns, and the two to three others Gates mentioned as having slave-owning ancestors, after their respective episodes aired, it was done and over with. Nobody cared much more than what was shown in the show.

      I think what gets people is how silly and huge Affleck and his ego are.

      • anne_000 says:

        @ Jayna –

        I have a different view of Affleck’s FB post. Like you said,

        “Ben comes back and tries to cover Gates, which is silly in that Gates emails show he was only changing it because Ben wanted it”

        So why come back with a further excuse by making it sound like Gates had already thought to delete it before being asked to do so by Affleck when there was already the leak of the emails showing it was done per Affleck’s request. Affleck is contradicting what Gates said was the cause for the ‘censorship.’ He’s making Gates look like a liar in his email to the Sony exec. He’s making it Gates’ fault. If he keeps up this latest change in his story, then it’s going to be worse for Gates during the PBS investigation.

        As for why PBS is investigating Gates, imo, it’s because Gates caved in when he shouldn’t have. His emails show that Gates knew how it would look. Like the previous CB article said, Affleck dangled the prospect of having Matt Damon on Gates’ show, so that may have further tempted Gates into caving into Affleck’s request.
        “This is so silly now. It’s blowing up now and people are going to applaud Daily Mail for that? All it will do is get Gates fired. Great.”

        Nobody cared about Affleck and his slave-owning ancestor until the story became about covering up. That the DM found more slave-owning ancestors in Affleck’s family tree is a result from what Affleck and Gates did in the first place. The DM didn’t do this further research based solely on their fascination with Affleck. He’s not that big of a celebrity and doesn’t really have that much of the public’s interest.

        As for Gates getting fired. Nobody knows if that will happen. And as to why Gates put it all down in emails that could be retrieved later and make it look bad for him? I thought that was a stupid move on Gates’ part. He should have made a phone call instead of just not sent any emails. Or he could have just not been so confused about what to do and just do what was best for his show in the way of integrity.
        “The hatred for Ben on here is bizarre. The guy was embarrassed and made a request that he shouldn’t have. …… It was an error in judgment from Ben for a TV show. And people act like he murdered someone.”

        I don’t think it’s “hate.” It’s criticism over the cover up, Affleck’s ego, and Gates’ crumbling under pressure so easily.

        Nobody is equating what Affleck did to murder. That’s making Affleck a bigger thing that he actually is.
        “Gates didn’t have to do it, wasn’t forced to, and did it. Now his leaked emails are hurting his career also. Whoopi said she had something not put on the show.”

        Gates did it to himself. Same with his emails. Don’t leave a trace if what you’re saying is going to cause you trouble if found out.

        If he keeps editing out things for his celebrity guests, then he should put that disclaimer out at the beginning of all his episodes, so that he won’t continue to let his viewers believe that it’s an actual documentary but an ego trip for his celebrity guests, like a modern version of “It’s Your Life” that show only the good parts, like he did for Affleck and his ‘heroic’ family background.

    • Blue says:

      If only Ben had the decency not to request the cover up of his slave owning ancestor past none of this would be coming out now we would have already forgotten about it and moved on Ben has only himself to blame for everything that has been happening and he keeps talking and just making it worse.

  26. A.Key says:

    Unless he’s a closet racist, what the hell is he ashamed of? We can’t change what someone else did before we were born! We can just learn from it and strive to be better. He’s not learning anything, he’s hiding it and denying it ever happened, I mean wtf?

  27. Tara says:

    Talk about being obsessed with your own image. It’s all about him. It’s all so self-serving and patronizing. I think he was so burned career-wise by the Bennifer thing that he’s now completely obsessed and controlling over his image. He’s like a terrible politician.

  28. Patti says:

    If Jessie Spano can confront her ancestor’s past as a slave owner and tell Lisa Turtle why can’t Ben?

  29. Emily C. says:

    He is made of slime.

  30. Piapia says:

    He is Nick Dunne-ing the hell out of this situation