Ben Affleck and the sins of great-great-great-grandfathers

Last September PBS aired an episode of Finding Your Roots, a program about genealogy featuring celebrities who get a tour of their family tree and their genetic makeup in the hopes of a tearful revelation. Movie star Ben Affleck was featured alongside Benjamin Jealous, CEO of the NAACP, and actress Khandi Alexander (Treme, CSI: Miami) on a show themed around the two wars that shaped America’s first century – the Civil War and the Revolutionary War.

It wasn’t a surprise that both Jealous and Alexander, who are African-American, learned about ancestors who were slaves, but they were both shocked to learn that they also had ancestors who owned slaves. For some reason, though, the slavery thread apparently didn’t pass through Affleck’s family tree, and instead we learned about a great-great-great-grandfather who set himself up as a medium after the Civil War, channelling the spirits of soldiers for their bereaved families.

But thanks to Wikileaks’ trove of emails hacked from Sony Pictures, news broke months later that Affleck had learned during filming that he did have a slave-owning ancestor, and that the star of Daredevil and Gigli had pressured the show’s producer to edit this out…

  • winniec

    Ben Affleck has made a ‘BIG DEAL’ about how he champions equality, but he is willing to do so at the expense of truth, facts, honesty and reality. In other words, he wants to live in an ideal, imaginary utopia based on deception. THIS IS DANGEROUS!
    Seeking utopias while ignoring reality is like walking off a tall building while ignoring gravity! Ben Affleck’s version of Leftarded cultural Marxism is based on fantasy and manipulation.

  • Raymond Hietapakka

    Worried about some of their ancestors coming back at you for lost wages, Ben? Don’t worry Ben, money is very cleansing.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Only about 9% of the households in the south owned slaves. Of them, 80% or more owned from 1-3 slaves. Leaving less than 35 of the households as ‘large’ slaveholders’. If Ben’s family owned more than 1-3 slaves then they were the 1% of their day, the truly wealthy and elite. To be that’s almost more offensive that his family’s been at the apex of society for hundreds of years. By comparison. the second President John Adams was himself a SIXTH generation American and he didn’t own slaves.

    • canminuteman

      Given that a person has 32 great great great grand parents odd are that one of them would have been a slave owner, especially if they all lived in the southern states before the civil war.

      • Hard Little Machine

        Only if you espouse the somewhat facetious claim that there are no class differences.