Editorial: Disclose, Disclose

PBS faulted for initial public reaction to ‘Finding Your Roots’ controversy

We're not ready to pile on PBS for the decision by an independent producer of the Finding Your Roots series to delete references to slave-holding in the background of actor Ben Affleck, but its initial response to the issue only fueled the fi re.

PBS told its ombudsman, Michael Getler, that it did not participate in that decision and, in fact, knew nothing about it. As Getler has pointed out, PBS can be faulted for its initial public reaction to the story, which was to relay the producers’ assertion that the decision to remove the material was an “independent editorial judgment,” after being asked by Affleck to do so.

Getler found that response “not credible.” We agree.