Finding Your Roots Heading Back to PBS After Ben Affleck Scandal
PBS has announced that it will be bringing back Finding Your Roots for a third season following the show’s recent controversy surrounding an episode involving Ben Affleck.
The network suspended the ancestry-tracing documentary series in June after it was discovered that host and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. edited out scenes that mentioned Affleck’s slave-owning ancestor. This was done at the request of the Boston-bred actor, who quickly penned an apology on Facebook, saying that he was “embarrassed” by the situation.
News of the omission came to light during the Sony Entertainment email hack scandal in April. A private conversation between Gates and CEO Michael Lynton about Affleck’s request made its way online along with a slew of other juicy celebrity emails, courtesy of WikiLeaks.
According to an interview with Variety, PBS chief programming executive Beth Hoppe said that Finding Your Roots will have new ways of verifying its content when it returns on January 5.
“I’m confident there won’t be any problem,” Hoppe said.
The network official added that the series now has a new fact-checking system in place, as well as an independent genealogist, and that the process is being worked out with Gates’ “full cooperation.”
A number of high-profile celebrities are already scheduled to appear on season three of Finding Your Roots, including Neil Patrick Harris, Julianne Moore, Julianna Margulies, and television producer Shonda Rhimes.