Gawker has transcripts of the segment of a PBS television program that hometown boy Ben Affleck allegedly tried to suppress.
In the segment, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. , the producer of the program “Finding Your Roots,” discusses the Hollywood A-Lister’s great grandfather Benjamin Cole, who owned 25 slaves in Savannah, Georgia.
Here’s part of the interview, as reported by Gawker:
AFFLECK: God. It gives me kind of a sagging feeling to see, uh, a biological relationship to that. But, you know, there it is, part of our history.
GATES: But consider the irony, uh, in your family line. Your mom went back fighting for the rights of black people in Mississippi, 100 years later. That’s amazing.
AFFLECK: That’s pretty cool.
GATES: That’s pretty cool.
AFFLECK: Yeah, it is. One of the things that’s interesting about it is like we tend to separate ourselves from these things by going like, you know, oh, well, it’s just dry history, and it’s all over now, and this shows us that there’s still a living aspect to history, like a personal connection.
By the same token, I think it’s important to recognize that, um, in looking at these histories, how much work has been done by people in this country, of all kinds, to make it a better place.
GATES: People like your mother.
AFFLECK: Indeed, people like my mother and many others who have made a much better America than the one that they were handed.
Affleck made news last week, after a trove of hacked Sony emails released by WikiLeaks indicated he had tried to suppress the fact that his ancestor was a slaveowner from Gates’ program.