Our very own Bagwan has been traveling to various regional events counseling we the unwashed. Yet his concern for us is stronger than ever as he slipped today’s posting under the ‘Diatribe’s’ spacious office doors revealing yet more truth and light. We here at the ‘Diatribe’ follow strict guidelines for full disclosure and transparency, and were abhorred to hear about Ben Afffleck’s inability to recognize his ancestors were slave owners. Oh the shame! God we do live in a world where accepted behavior of the day was just that; accepted behavior. I apologize for any inconvenience my ancestors may have inflicted on yours.. Enjoy, Jeez.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave”… you know the rest but apparently Ben Affleck doesn’t. There is a story gaining momentum that Ben demanded that a PBS program (“Finding Your Roots”) edit a slave owning ancestor out of Ben’s roots before they aired the show. Like all good Hollywood limousine liberals Ben has an image to maintain and somehow he got the notion that having an ancestor who owned slaves would tarnish that image. The problem with living in a world of fantasy is that you lose track of reality. Too bad that Ben doesn’t have the real world knowledge that the “Father of our Country” also owned slaves.
Before we get into the bio details that should really embarrass Ben let’s take a look at the two other players in this story of hypocrisy and mendacity. The first is Henry Gates, a Harvard professor, who you might remember from the dustup at his house in Cambridge Massachusetts. A woman reported that two men wearing back packs were trying to force open the door at the Professor’s house and she called the police. Both men were black (she didn’t report that) and one of the men was Henry himself. The police answered the call and followed protocol to the letter but for their effort they were called racists by Gates and subsequently called “stupid” by President Obama.
So that same Henry Gates is the host and writer for “Finding Your Roots” and he saw nothing wrong with having a slave owning ancestor but he didn’t want to offend a megastar like Ben. Not knowing how to handle this he goes to his friend Michael Lynton who is the head of Sony Pictures. While that now turns out to be a bad choice, at the time it was a stroke of genius. If you want to figure out how to deal with a lying Hollywood phony who better to tutor you than the head of a movie studio.
Here is the advice Lynton gave Gates in an email:
The Sony chairman and CEO writes, “On the doc the big question is who knows that the material is in the doc and is being taken out. I would take it out if no one knows, but if it gets out that you are editing the material based on this kind of sensitivity then it gets tricky.”
Well the ancestor gets deleted and it would have worked except for two words “Sony” and “email.” That’s right Ben gets outed as a phony because the North Koreans (or whoever) hacked Sony’s emails. In addition Gates’ show loses credibility and tarnishes PBS. On the other hand I doubt that Michael Lynton’s career as an entertainment mogul is damaged at all by his sage advice that lying is okay as long as you don’t get caught.
I think the first time I ever paid any attention to Ben Affleck was when he and Jennifer Lopez were impossible to miss as “Bennifer.” The only thing more cringe-worthy than that relationship was their movie Gigli, which is considered by most experts to be one of the 5 worst movies ever made. Ben actually seems to be getting better with age – I liked Argo. I haven’t kept track of what age has done to Ms. Lopez, but Mr. Gravity is not usually kind to that body type.
At first blush I thought this was funny but the more I thought about it the more I realized it was just sad. Sad that Ben felt the need to hide a slave owning ancestor and sadder that Professor Gates let him get away with it. What with stories like this and NBC anchor Brian Williams admitting he lied to us, it is really hard to know where to turn for the “Truth” — thank God we still have the Internet and Curmudgeon Corner.