THE HENRY LOUIS GATES, JR., SCANDALThe headlines yesterday and today are all wrong with their variations of "Ben Affleck Scandal" and "Ben Affleck Controversy."
There was no Ben Affleck scandal. One headline say "No thanks to Ben Affleck?" How about "No thanks to Skip Gates"? Affleck just wanted his way as he is used to getting it. What's a megastar (Skip's awed term) to do but act like a megastar?
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the emails show, consciously betrayed the trust PBS had put in him and betrayed the trust that his watchers had put in him. He was sucking up to the "megastar" in the hope of getting Affleck to muscle him into the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is a suckup and a user, the emails show, and he has no sense of honor about genealogical research. My heavens, when you are researching your ancestry you find what you find! And you deal with it. Did I want to believe I was a Gregory, that family with 7 sons in the Revolution, as one marriage record seemed to show? Oh, yes, but you go looking for more evidence. The whole point is to go with whatever evidence you find and if you don't find anything conclusive, then admit it.
Maybe Gates did not do much of the genealogical work himself and just does not understand. Maybe PBS should get Brian Williams to host the show. Then we would be forewarned that what we are seeing is an MC, a host of an unreality show. This decision of PBS was an insult to the best of its audience. It will lose some of its audience, for sure. And the world does not seem to realize where the scandal lies.