Thursday, August 18, 2016

Topic Of The Day: Nate Parker Rape Scandal

I initially wasn't going to post this. I do usually cover what is going on in the film world and this scandal does pertain to it. It especially pertains to awards season. But this scandal is a whole lot bigger than awards and while I won't comment on its awards chances, I will say why this scandal is bigger than some PR cleanup for an Oscar campaign.

Birth Of A Nation filmmaker/star Nate Parker and his co-writer Jean Celestin were accused of raping an unconscious woman back when they were in college with Celestin being found guilty but Parker being acquitted. The past trial was brought up when Parker did an interview for Deadline, which you can read here, about how he is trying to move on from it and how it was one of the most painful moments of HIS life. Basically, he is trying to say how he is a victim of this situation while not talking about the actual victim who eventually committed suicide. When reading about that interview and how he's worried that the trial will overshadow the film, you can get the sense that he, and Fox Searchlight who purchased the film for almost $20 million, are worried about its awards prospects. I say to look at the bigger picture.

Parker being made out to be a victim is yet another example of trying to get the public to sympathize with the abuser rather than those who were abused. It's a lot like the situation with Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Even though Heard was photographed with bruises on her face and even has video evidence of Depp being abusive, Depp's fans are leaping to HIS defense on social media. 

You also have the case involving Brock Turner, the Stanford swimmer that got put to trial for raping an unconscious woman 
like Parker did, and got sentenced to six months of prison. Turner's father dismissed his son's crime as him getting punished for "20 minutes of action" and the rest of his family started a support fund on Facebook called the Turner Family Support Fund. Blood may be thicker than water. But they haven't done anything to suggest the severity of what the victim will go through and above all, the importance of consent and that a woman being intoxicated and unconscious does NOT equal consent. 

So when looking at the Nate Parker case, I ask you to look past its awards prospects which are looking SOL at the moment and look at the bigger picture. Remember how the media tries to get us to sympathize with the abuser and not the real victims themselves. People like Johnny Depp may be celebrities and Turner and Parker may have been star athletes. But that doesn't mean it's okay for them to get away with such heinous crimes. 

I will end this post by saying that I will be boycotting Birth Of A Nation. Nate Parker will not receive a dime from me and I will not be posting a review of it.