Bosses at PBS network have put genealogy show Finding Your Roots on hold following the controversy in which Ben Affleck asked producers to exclude details about his slaver owner ancestor.
In April (15), a leaked Sony Pictures email published on WikiLeaks revealed the Gone Girl actor had asked the show's host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. not to mention the fact that his distant relative owned slaves.
After Gates, Jr.'s email exchange with Sony boss Michael Lynton about the episode surfaced, the host insisted his team simply chose to focus on other parts of Affleck's family history, but the actor later admitted he urged producers to exclude the story because he was "embarrassed" by the revelation.
Executives at PBS subsequently launched an investigation, and the results, which were released on Wednesday (24Jun15), found that producers violated network standards by allowing Affleck to have "improper influence" on the show and "by failing to inform PBS... of Mr. Affleck's efforts to affect program content."
Producers have been ordered to make staffing changes, adding a fact checker and an "independent genealogist" to review the show's content before the third season can be aired.
In addition, officials stated they have not made a decision whether the show will return for a fourth season.
Gates, Jr. released his own statement in response to PBS bosses' ruling, which reads, "I sincerely regret not discussing my editing rationale with our partners at PBS... and I apologize for putting PBS and its member stations in the position of having to defend the integrity of their programming."