Ben Affleck really didn’t want people to know that one of his distant ancestors owned slaves—going so far as to lobby celebrity genealogy TV show Finding Your Roots to suppress the segment in which that ancestor is discussed. But we got our hands on a copy of the script—and now you can read the mild interview that terrified the actor.
This weekend, leaked emails revealed that Ben Affleck successfully pressured the makers of PBS documentary series Finding Your Roots to suppress his family’s slave-owning past, an apparent violation of the broadcaster’s rules. Today, Affleck posted on Facebook to explain (but not apologize for) his actions, writing, “I was embarrassed.”
Four years ago today, racial profiling was America's most dominant—and ugliest—conversation. Less than a week earlier, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard professor, preeminent scholar, and friend of Oprah, had been arrested on his Massachusetts front porch, after being suspected of robbery when, in fact, he'd been trying to enter his own home. Almost immediately, a national shitshow ensued and even the President got involved.
Funny woman Amy Poehler turns 38 today. Mr. Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, is turning 41. Mickey Rourke is 53. Lauren Bacall is celebrating her 85th. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates turns 59. Magician David Copperfield is 53. Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls fame is turning 28. Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers is turning 17. Artist Christopher Wool is 54. Andy Serwer, Fortune's managing editor, is turning 50. Blues legend B.B. King is 84. And the man responsible for such '80s classics as "Endless Summer Nights" and "Right Here Waiting," Richard Marx, is 46 today.
How many ways can you analyze 30 seconds of silent footage? An infinite number of ways! Over the last 24 hours, cable pundits, our modern Vienna Circle, have explored all the possible meanings of a bunch of guys drinking beers.
The presser was straight out of Bonfire of the Vanities, beginning with an exceedingly strange two-minute-plus introduction from Whalen's attorney Wendy Murphy, who cautioned the assembled press to "leave her alone" before praising her as the "one person whose actions have been exemplary" and implicitly criticizing Barack Obama for failing to invite her to tomorrow's sit-down between Gates and Sgt. James Crowley. "I don't know, maybe it's a guy thing," Murphy sneered. "She doesn't like beer anyway." Then she nominated Whalen, the woman she wants to be left alone, to head a proposed blue-ribbon panel to examine the issue of racial profiling in Cambridge. Murphy is enjoying her 15 minutes.