Hey everyone. Ben Affleck here, star of Good Will Hunting and Good Will Hunting 2: Back on the Hunt. I owe you all an apology. As you may know, I recently appeared on a show called Finding Your Roots, where Henry Louis Gates researched my ancestry. As the world now knows thanks to the Sony leaks, he discovered that one of my ancestors owned slaves, and I lobbied successfully to exclude that information from the show.
I realize that whitewashing my history was wrong, and I’m sorry. However, revealing that ancestor on TV would have caused a lot of trouble for me personally, because that slave-owning ancestor was my mom. Is my mom, I should say. She’s still alive and she still very much owns slaves. That’s what makes it so awkward, you see.
If this was a question of some ancient Civil War–era plantation owner, I would have been happy to air my family’s shame. But I have to face my mom at Christmas. How would your mom react if you went on TV and criticized her hobbies?
I don’t want you thinking I support my mother’s slavery habit. No, no. Slavery is wrong and I know that. I’ve told her so at most of our weekly lunches — in fact, I won’t even eat lunch at her place if the slaves are cooking, unless it’s Trevor.
Also, I don’t know if this makes it better, but it’s not a race thing. My mother kidnaps people of all racial and economic backgrounds, locks them in her basement, and forces them to make rocking chairs. If anything, most of her slaves are white runaways.
I’m realizing that that doesn’t really make it better. Listen, white parents, if you’re missing a Crystal, Madison, or Andrea, get in touch with me. I can probably spring your daughter.
I should probably do a better job of calling her out, but can’t you see how hard it is to confront your own mother like that? Aside from the illegal slave-chair factory in her basement, my mom is really great. She’s always been really supportive of my acting career. She’s widely read. She watches the kids when Jennifer and I are both working, or has Trevor do it. (Trevor is a treasure of a slave.) OK, so she’s trapped and enslaved a few people. Is your mom perfect? Probably not. She probably nags, or can’t figure out the internet, or she too has a dozen slaves sanding rocking chairs in her basement. (It’s more widespread than you think. Every member of Mom’s book club has slaves. It’s a pyramid scheme.)
So I say let he whose mom has no slaves cast the first stone. I’m glad I took her out of the show and I’d do it again, just like I barred all mention of my uncle Stalin.
Aww cripes, Affleck, you’ve done it again!