In weird news this weekend, Ben Affleck apparently has an ancestor, who was a slave-owner. And he really doesn’t want you to know about that, apparently.

Ben Affleck
Could this affect Affleck's goody goody image?

When Affleck appeared on the PBS documentary series Finding Your Roots, the slave-owning ancestor apparently came up, but was never mentioned during the episode. The reveal, made by WikiLeaks, was contested by a statement on the PBS website.

The reason? It wasn’t that important.

 "For any guest, we always find far more stories about ancestors on their family trees than we ever possibly could use," Gates said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press. He said finding slave-owning ancestors was very common in the series, and noted Ken Burns and Anderson Cooper were two guests with slave-owner relatives.”

More: Ben Affleck and David Fincher Remaking Hitchcock's Strangers

In Affleck's case, "we decided to go with the story we used about his fascinating ancestor who became on occultist following the Civil War. This guy's story was totally unusual: we had never discovered someone like him before," he said.

Affleck’s ancestry obviously doesn’t apply to him as a person, but the story is still generating way too much buzz online.


The email chain between Gates and Sony Pictures co-chairman and chief executive Michael Lynton was part of a trove of hundreds of thousands of emails and documents from last year's Sony hack that WikiLeaks put into a searchable online archive on Thursday.