Nate Parker Apologizes For Being “Tone Deaf” In His Response To Past Rape Allegations

The Playlist | 9/1/2019 | Matthew Monagle
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It’s been three years since Nate Parker burned through his Hollywood goodwill, but now the director is back in competition at the Venice Film Festival with “American Skin,” a blend of fictional storytelling and documentary filmmaking that seeks to explore the notion of police brutality. With Spike Lee serving as Parker’s advocate, Venice seemed to be the site that Parker had targeted for his career rebirth. If he comments to the Venice crowd, as reported by Variety, are any indication, he may still have a way to go.

A quick refresher: in 2016, Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation“ set records at the Sundance Film Festival when it was purchased by Fox Searchlight for a record $17.5 million. In the publicity blitz that followed, it was revealed that Parker has been accused—and eventually acquitted—of rape charges while still a college student. This, of course, took place a year before Ashley Judd‘s allegations against Harvey Weinstein would start a cleansing fire in Hollywood, and Parker immediately went on the defensive, telling Deadline that he would “not relive that period of his life” as a consequence of his success, and openly avoiding questions asked by journalists. The allegations and Parker’s heated response towards the public response ultimately doomed “The Birth of a Nation,” which grossed less than $16 million at the domestic box office.

Comments - Venice - Film - Festival - Crowd

In his comments to the Venice Film Festival crowd, Parker struck a more conciliatory tone. “Three years ago I was pretty tone-deaf to the realities of certain situations that were happening in the climate,” he said. “And I’ve had a...
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