Saturday, May 28, 2022

Nate Parker Ignored Oprah Winfrey’s Advice on Addressing 1999 Rape Charges

Oprah Winfrey and Nate Parker
Oprah Winfrey and Nate Parker

*Oprah Winfrey was reportedly ready to help Nate Parker deal with the growing media interest in his 1999 rape charges when it first became an issue in August.

The TV legend and her bestie Gayle King of “CBS This Morning” were among the first to see Parker’s film “The Birth of a Nation” back in February, and even filmed an Instagram video offering congratulations.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Winfrey suggested in August that Parker address the brewing rape controversy in an interview with King on her CBS program. But Parker declined.

He was angry over what he saw as a consensual, youthful sexual experimentation gone wrong being brought up as an issue years later despite his acquittal, reports THR, and that it was happening just when his Nat Turner passion project was not only finished but positioned as a major Oscar contender.

Since then, Winfrey has been largely quiet regarding Parker. As THR notes, her vocal support “might have helped him move past persistent questions that seem to be overshadowing his movie and potentially undermining his career.”

Via THR:

Fox Searchlight, which paid a record $17.5 million for the film and hired consultants in an effort to help Parker get on message, is likely shifting its attention this awards season to “Jackie,” starring Natalie Portman as the former first lady.

In the days leading up to his film’s opening, Parker did interviews on “60 Minutes” and “Good Morning America.” In neither appearance was he willing or able to convey a clear and effective message of regret for long-ago mistakes or concern for his accuser, who committed suicide in 2012.

Asked by “GMA” co-host Robin Roberts about his seeming lack of empathy, Parker sidestepped the question, referring Roberts to comments he had made the previous evening on “60 Minutes” (another network’s show). When Roberts persisted, Parker declared, “I was falsely accused, I was proven innocent and I’m not going to apologize for that.” Unsurprisingly, that refusal to apologize — which to Parker is said to be a matter of staying true to himself — has been the focus of subsequent media reports during the key weeklong corridor leading up to today’s release of the film in 2,100 theaters.

To Amy Ziering, a producer on the 2015 campus-rape documentary “The Hunting Ground,” Parker has failed to address critical issues. “I had hoped that Parker’s discussion of the film and his past would address our culture’s toxic history of both racism and sexual/gender violence — and the ways these two issues importantly intersect,” she says in an email to THR. “Unfortunately, he has put forward a lot of carefully constructed rhetoric, which at times rings hollow and falls short.”

Director Judd Apatow also seems to point toward the road not traveled. “He has an opportunity to teach young men about the meaning of consent,” Apatow wrote on Twitter on Oct. 5. “He could do something that would help so many people.”

Continue reading here.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Exactly Carolyne.

    I am amazed at this obsession with Nate Parker by people who refuse to accept that he was found NOT GUILTY of raping a white girl by a jury of eleven white people, and one black woman in a county notorious for blatant racism…

    The Negroes, and racist white people have succeeded at limiting the number of screens in which “Birth of a Nation” will be shown, and they have undermined his chances of being an Oscar contender… Their mission has been accomplished, but they want more blood…

    One of the most ridiculous public lynchings of a person’s character that I have witnessed in a very long time.

    Shame on all of you ignorant butt holes who talk red, white, and blue, but are actually confederates at heart…

    I’m probably going to see Nate’s film at least three times…

  2. So let me get this str8. He and the man involved were found not guilty of raping this woman but because she killed herself years later, he’s supposed to feel some type of remorse because her weak minded ass killed herself as if the 2 incidents are related. GTFO with that nonsense. He’s made a movie with NO white heroes and he’s catching hell because of it. I saw the movie last night and it moved me all the way to my soul. Nat turner has been a hero of mine ever since I first learned about him. He was a man that didn’t take the easy road and understood that you gon have to bleed a lil bit at times if you TRULY want freedom. Thank you Nate Parker for not tuckin ya tail on this movie and for tellin Oprah she can stick it where the sun don’t shine:)

  3. Exactly, Manny.

    Racist white people, and silly Negroes actually drank the kool-aid, and have denigrated Nate Parkers character in the name of stupidity.

    That poor woman was mentally disturbed long before she met Nate, but he’s responsible for her demise… People are offing lunatics.

    He didn’t bow, and kiss Oprah’s ring like so many materialistic fools do, so he’s a bad guy, and supposed to be stupid for not doing so? Please…

    Salute Nate Parker!

  4. When he doesn’t make any more movies or act in them I hope u help feed his family. We still have racism today and unfortunately black people and especially prominent people like him can’t have absolutely nothing negative in their background, because it will be found, and it doesn’t matter if it’s 5yrs or 50 yrs.

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