‘ Roots’ host says sorry for edit

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - — Scott Collins

The host of PBS’ “Find­ing Your Roots” has apol­o­gized af­ter a re­view faulted him for his han­dling of a show about Ben Af­fleck.

The re­view found that Emmy- win­ning Har­vard pro­fes­sor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who hosts the pro­gram that ex­am­ines the fam­ily trees of celebri­ties, in­ap­pro­pri­ately bowed to pres­sure from Aff leck. The ac­tor wanted one of his slave- own­ing an­ces­tors ex­cised from the show.

Gates and his fel­low pro­duc­ers “vi­o­lated PBS stan­dards by fail­ing to shield the cre­ative and ed­i­to­rial proc- ess from im­proper inf lu­ence,” a sum­mary of the re­view pro­vided to the media on Wed­nes­day said. Gates and pro­duc­ers also failed to in­form PBS or WNET, the PBS mem­ber sta­tion where the pro­gram orig­i­nates, of Aff leck’s “ef­forts to af­fect pro­gram con­tent,” the sum­mary said.

PBS said it would de­lay the up­com­ing sea­son of “Find­ing Your Roots” un­til it was sat­is­fied the pro­gram would not make the same mis­take again. The net­work is also re­quir­ing pro­duc­ers to hire an in­de­pen­dent ge­neal­o­gist to ver­ify the facts put forth on the pro­gram.

Gates im­me­di­ately is­sued an apol­ogy in the wake of the sum­mary’s re­lease.

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