PBS isn’t pleased with the way producers for their show, Finding Your Roots handled the Ben Affleck situation. The A-list actor admitted he was “embarrassed” to learn a distant relative was a slave master and did everything in his power to make sure that particular segment of the episode didn’t crack daylight.
Now there are repercussions to pay and the sword is falling on Finding Your Roots itself. Variety is reporting that the network has indefinitely suspended the show until they “are satisfied that the editorial standards of the series have been successfully raised to a level in which we can have confidence.” Yikes.
PBS along with New York station WNET, “determined that the series co-producers violated PBS standards by failing to shield the creative and editorial process from improper influence, and by failing to inform PBS or WNET of Mr. Affleck’s efforts to affect program content.”
Series creator Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. apologized conceding to his celebrity challenger writing, “I sincerely regret not discussing my editing rationale with our partners at PBS and WNET, and I apologize for putting PBS and its member stations in the position of having to defend the integrity of their programming.”
Gates continued, “Editorial integrity is essential to PBS. As a mission-driven media enterprise, we know that earning and keeping the trust of the American public are our most important priorities,” said Hoppe, who is PBS’ chief programming executive and general manager of general audience programming, in a prepared statement. “The co-producers of ‘Finding Your Roots’ have a strong track record of creating high-quality programming for PBS over many years. Improved editorial and production processes will ensure that all future projects will adhere to PBS’ editorial guidelines.”
The third and fourth seasons of Finding Your Roots will be delayed until an additional factchecker and an independent genealogist are able to hop on board.
Photo: Brian To/WENN.com