Memo to PBS Station General Managers Regarding FINDING YOUR ROOTS Episode “Roots of Freedom” April 23, 2015
As we noted in our previous emails, PBS is committed to keeping you informed regarding FINDING YOUR ROOTS episode “Roots of Freedom.” Last evening, Professor Gates and series executive producer Dyllan McGee issued a statement to the media, which included an apology to PBS and PBS stations:
"During our many years of producing genealogy programs on PBS, we have always tried to function under the most rigorous scholarly and production values. We regret not sharing Mr. Affleck’s request that we avoid mention of one of his ancestors with our co-production partner, WNET, and our broadcast partner, PBS. We apologize for putting PBS and its member stations in the position of having to defend the integrity of their programming. Moving forward, we are committed to an increased level of transparency with our co-producing partners. We respect PBS guidelines and understand our obligation to maintain editorial integrity at all times.”
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Executive Producer & Dyllan McGee, Executive Producer
We are glad to see this apology and acknowledgement of the failure to disclose Mr. Affleck’s request to WNET and PBS and re-affirmation that they respect and understand PBS’ editorial guidelines.
PBS is committed to working with all producers and member stations to assure adherence to the editorial guidelines for work that appears on PBS.
For our part, PBS and WNET are continuing the internal review, which began last Saturday. It is in everyone’s interest that we move quickly to bring the internal review to completion, but we also want to ensure that we are being thorough. We will share the findings of the review as soon as it is concluded.