Nate Parker Refused to Answer When Asked Why He Hasn't Apologized to Alleged Sexual Assault Victim

But he did have some thoughts on the subject.


Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation is revving it's promotional engines, which means the actor-director-writer will inevitably spend the next few months being asked questions about his 1999 rape case. (Note: he was found not guilty, and maintains the encounter was "unambiguously consensual.")

Parker just took part in a press conference at the Toronto Film Festival, where New York Times writer Cara Buckley asked him the following: "A lot of people are having trouble separating the artist from the art. And since it is a film about moral responsibility, a lot of people felt you should have apologized for what happened 17 years ago to the victim and her family, but why haven't you? And would you now?"

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Parker's response is as follows:

"I'll say this. For one, I've addressed this a few times, and I'm sure I'll address it in different forums. This is a forum for the film. This is a forum for the other people who are sitting on this stage. It's not mine, I don't own it. It doesn't belong to me, so I definitely don't want hijack it. I do want to make sure that we are honoring this film, and we're honoring these people in front of you, before you. So respectfully, I want to say thank you again to the Toronto International Film Festival for allowing us to be here, and I want to continue celebrating the people that helped make this film possible."

It's clear that Parker wants to separate The Birth of a Nation (which features an off-camera rape scene with real-life sexual assault victim Gabrielle Union) from his own personal narrative. But at a certain point, that might be an impossibility.

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