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Ben Affleck Apologizes for Attempting to Hide Slave-Owner Ancestry

But why he insists it wasn't censorship

Sadie Gennis

No one can hide from their past. Ben Affleck has learned that the hard way.

The actor recently came under fire for requesting that PBS not reveal that one of his ancestors owned slaves on the genealogy show Finding Your Roots. In a message posted to Facebook on Tuesday, Affleck acknowledged it was a mistake to let his shame at his ancestor influence the program in any way.

"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," Affleck wrote.

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Ultimately, Affleck "lobbied" to have the fact not included in the show because it made him "uneasy." However, he insisted the decision not to include the ancestor in question wasn't censorship, as many have declared it. The slave-owning ancestor didn't make the final cut "because there wasn't much detail - a name and no details, so he wasn't going with it to begin with," Affleck explained.

The actor admitted he regrets ever wanting the issue to not be included in his episode and that he hopes this can help breed more honest conversations about race in America. "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," Affleck wrote. "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."

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