While there has been some coverage of the wedding adventures of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, their Georgia wedding venue has attracted some attention. The newly married couple is rounding out their extravagant multi-city affair with a wedding on a “plantation-style” property owned by Affleck.
As reported by Page Six, Affleck’s 6,000-square-foot home is referred to as “the Big House.” While Affleck may not have been aware of the slaveholders in his family when he brought the property in 2003, he certainly knows now. He hasn’t seemed to do anything to address the harmful past his property is emulating.
Located near where Affleck’s slave-owning ancestor, a Georgia sheriff lived, the property was built in the early 2000s. In his 2015 Facebook “apology” post comments, Affleck said the person was a Georgia resident named Benjamin Cole.
As NewsOne reported seven years ago, Affleck apologized for requesting the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” withhold the information about his slave-owning ancestor. The Affleck slave-owning ancestor scandal even led to PBS shelving the show.
Renowned professor Henry Louis Gates also took hits for complying with Affleck’s request to scrub the information from an episode. Gates sought to keep information about mama Affleck’s alleged civil rights involvement but somehow thought having a slaveholding ancestor was too “unpleasant.”
And despite finding his roots and knowing the legacy of profiting off enslaved people, Affleck and his new bride seem content with celebrating their love in a place still referred to as “the Big House,” not far from where his ancestor claimed ownership over other people. No matter how picturesque, “plantation-style” isn’t simply a type of architecture.
Ben and Jen’s wedding isn’t quite a plantation wedding. Still, it does highlight the problematic history of non-Black couples and their families dabbling in the fantasy of plantation life without any accountability for the harm and horror it caused. And while Affleck may have put Benjamin Cole behind him, romping around
Recently, an Airbnb listing was pulled for advertising a former slave cabin as a place of enjoyment and respite. The cabin sat on the Belmont Plantation in Mississippi and was rented out in addition to the main plantation house. The site has a history of problematic listings, including a former Nazi prison that was converted to an Airbnb site.