If it feels like Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have been on news headlines all of 2022, it’s because they have been. Between rekindling their romance to their multiple wedding festivities, it’s been a Bennifer-filled year. The most recent headline was about their luxurious wedding that was celebrated in the span of three days this past weekend. This came shortly after rumors saying they had separated for the time being. Strange, we know.
However, this time, they’re making headlines for something controversial. We’re talking about their chosen wedding venue: Affleck’s estate in Georgia. If it rings a bell, it’s because this particular estate has been in the news before.
Affleck’s Murky Past
It appears that their ceremony took place at Affleck’s “imitation” plantation that was (allegedly) previously owned by a slave owner. And get this: the slave owner was unveiled to reportedly be one of Affleck’s ancestors, Benjamin Cole.
Cole used to own slaves and was a sheriff in Georgia, per Page Six. These then hidden facts were revealed when emails from Sony were hacked in 2015, but hushed when the PBS documentary “Finding Your Roots” episode aired. Per the same source, the producer ended up hiding this fact and focused on another ancestor of Affleck instead.
But why go through all of this trouble only to later be involved in the same type of controversy?
People are questioning Bennifer’s choices
Social media users are questioning why Affleck’s reps tried to hide the fact, only to get married in the same location in 2022. “I’m sorry, but WHY are Ben Affleck & JLo having a PLANTATION wedding in 2022?” Twitter user Thru the Grapevine Podcast wrote. “Ben Affleck tried to get Finding Your Roots canceled because his ancestors were slave owners but still went on to have a plantation wedding … gross.”
“When he discovered who his ancestors were he tried to squelch it,” co-editor of “Slavery and Freedom in Savannah” and Northwestern University history professor Leslie Harris said, per the aforementioned source.
“It’s clear he didn’t learn his lesson. We’re back at the same place with him. People still build houses that are plantation-style. It’s a sign of wealth. It’s surprising that Affleck would choose this place for his wedding when many (historic) plantations have stopped even having weddings.”
Using an “imitation” plantation for aesthetics is preposterous. The erasure of enslaved people and where they were once housed will not be romanticized for the sake of a wedding or because it’s “cute.” The gall of the Bennifer franchise to ask people to come dressed in all white is just the cherry on top. The juxtaposition of it all is sickening. Either they are tone deaf AF or they don’t give a damn. Either way, it isn’t right.