AceShowbiz - Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. responds to PBS' decision to halt his show "Finding Your Roots" after controversy surrounding Ben Affleck episode. The host regrets his lapse of judgment and apologizes to PBS for causing the drama.
"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," the professor says in a statement.
"Throughout my many years of producing genealogy documentaries, I have always operated with rigorous ethical standards. Even so, we have been working with PBS and WETA to create new guidelines to increase transparency going forward."
"Finding Your Roots" comes under scrutiny after it was revealed that information about Affleck's slave-owning ancestor was omitted from the show at the actor's request. PBS then conducted an internal investigation which later determined that the show's producers "violated PBS standards by allowing improper influence on the show's editorial process and failed to inform PBS or producing station WNET of Affleck's efforts to affect the program's content."
Following the findings, PBS decided to delay the third season and held off commitment to a fourth one until they "are satisfied that the editorial standards of the series have been successfully raised to a level in which we can have confidence." The show is ordered to hire an additional researcher and an independent genealogist to verify the factual accuracy.