Edward Norton 'wanted to die' after discovering his ancestors owned slaves

884     0
Edward Norton
Edward Norton 'wanted to die' after discovering his ancestors owned slaves

Edward Norton admitted he 'wanted to die' after making the 'uncomfortable' discovery that his ancestors owned a family of slaves, including five young girls.

The actor, who recently starred in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, said it's important to acknowledge the past as it's 'a judgement on the history of this country'.

Edward also found out that he is a direct descendent of Pocahontas during a guest appearance on the latest episode of PBS show Finding Your Roots.

During the show, the 53-year-old was presented with a picture of a 55-year-old man, 37-year-old woman, and five girls, aged, four, six, eight, nine, and 10.

Host Henry Louis Gates Jr told Edward that the family was owned as slaves and asked: "What's it like to see that?"

People are saying The Simpsons predicted 'bed bug plague' 10 years ago eideeidediqxzinvPeople are saying The Simpsons predicted 'bed bug plague' 10 years ago
Edward Norton 'wanted to die' after discovering his ancestors owned slavesEdward Norton was uncomfortable with the discovery (Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Festival)
Edward Norton 'wanted to die' after discovering his ancestors owned slavesHe also found out he is a direct descendent of Pocahontas (Getty Images)

"The short answer is, these things are uncomfortable, and you should be uncomfortable with them. Everybody should be uncomfortable with it," Edward replied.

He added: "It’s not a judgement on your and your own life but it’s a judgement on the history of this country.

"It needs to be acknowledged first and foremost, and then it needs to be contended with."

The Hollywood star tried to 'personalise things' and suggested the slaves could have been a husband and wife with their children.

Edward Norton 'wanted to die' after discovering his ancestors owned slavesThe actor tried to 'personalise things' (Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/REX)
Edward Norton 'wanted to die' after discovering his ancestors owned slavesHe said it's important to acknowledge the past (Getty Images North America)

Henry said: "Born into slavery and in slavery in perpetuity."

"Again, when you read ‘slave aged eight,’ you just want to die," Edward replied.

Edward was also shocked to discover that his 12th great-grandmother was Pocahontas and that he was linked to the Jamestown colonial settlement.

Edward was a descendant of Pocahontas through her marriage to tobacco planter, John Rolfe, which took place in 1614.

Edward Norton 'wanted to die' after discovering his ancestors owned slavesEdward was shocked by his family history (Getty Images for Netflix)

The Fight Club star said: "It makes you realize what a small piece of the human story you are."

According to reports, Norton is a descendant of the wealthy Rouse family.

Where to watch Asteroid City on TV and streaming platforms in the UKWhere to watch Asteroid City on TV and streaming platforms in the UK

His grandfather is thought to be James Rouse who was a businessman and a real estate mogul who redesigned American cities in a way that is still recognisable today.

Scarlett O'Toole

Print page

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus