It is no big surprise that this has been made into such a big deal, because there are too many journalists with too much time on their hands, their own agendas, and the post-Watergate trend towards trying to bring people down, no matter what.
In defense of genealogy and history, accuracy is paramount - of that there is no doubt. I have no slaveowners in my family tree, but I do have an uncle who pimped out his stepdaughter and went to prison for it. It doesn't embarrass me at all and I have written about it. If I had a slaveowner ancestor, I would not shy away from it.
There are a few genealogists who have weighed in, including one of my favorites. They claim that history should remain pure and have criticized Mr. Affleck for trying to "change history."
BUT - here's the rub. There is a difference between trying to change history and to publicize history, such that the subject (in this case Mr. Affleck) would be personally derided for his ancestors history (which with his media history likely would have happened).
Unless you have walked in Mr. Affleck's shoes, you really should be cautious in your criticism.
I am not a fan nor am I not a fan. I have enjoyed several of his movies and others not so much. But I have not been in the public eye to the crazy degree like Mr. Affleck and have had the constant lens upon me. Remember "Bennifer" and that media fiasco? How about his family, especially his children and the constant paparazzi obsession with interfering in their daily lives? Only recent legislation that he and his wife played an active role in made that ebb. Oh and when it was announced that he was cast to play Batman, people went ape shit.
I don't know Mr. Affleck - maybe he's a nice guy, maybe he's a jerk - most likely somewhere in between like the majority of humans. But I think it is pretty safe to say that he is not one of the most well-liked celebrities - for whatever reason.
I may be wrong but this negative attitude may have crept into his thinking. You would be quite sensitive too,of you were disliked, examined, and chased as much as he has.
So judge the general attitude about changing history. But be a bit careful about judging a person that you don't know. And who by the way is not a genealogist and doesn't know the "rules."
P.S. - Mr. Affleck apologized and is a big boy - I am sure he can take the criticism. Look on the bright side, Ben - be happy that a Fox News host didn't call you fat as they intimated about Kelly Clarkson.