Ben Affleck told a television station to hide the fact he has an ancestor who owned slaves, a batch of leaked emails linked to Sony has revealed.
The Oscar-winning director and actor has come under fire for wanting to lie and cover up his distant family past.
WikiLeaks editor in chief Julian Assange, who republished the series of emails said: “This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation. It is newsworthy and at the centre of a geopolitical conflict.
“It belongs in the public domain”.
The Hollywood star requested that producers of the PBS documentary series Finding Your Roots leave out the information on his heritage.
Affleck’s wishes were adhered to and the sensitive facts were left out of the show that aired in September 2014.
The show’s host, Henry Louis Gates, a well-respected Harvard history professor, was reportedly displeased with the request and the decision, though he said in separate statements that they didn’t censor the slave-owner details.
The show is known for “never shying away from chapters of a family’s past that might be unpleasant”, he said.
Instead, more interesting ancestors of the US actor emerged and Professor Gates chose to highlight them in October’s segment featuring Affleck, PBS said.
“Ultimately, I maintain editorial control on all of my projects and, with my producers, decide what will make for the most compelling programme. In the case of Mr Affleck we focused on what we felt were the most interesting aspects of his ancestry.”
The emails detail an exchange between Professor Gates and Sony Pictures co-chairman and chief executive Michael Lynton.