Thursday, May 26, 2022

Don’t Expect Oscar Nom for ‘The Birth of a Nation’ – Is Rape or Racism to Blame?

nate parker
Writer/director Nate Parker attends the premiere of Fox Searchlight Pictures’ “The Birth of a Nation” at ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome on September 21, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

*Yes, if you’re a fan of the film, “The Birth of a Nation,” the headline is rather jarring and in your face. Unfortunately it’s the reality according to Glenn Whip, an LA Times award columnist.

Whip notes that just like the ($7.1 million) box office take of the Nate Parker film was not what was supposedly expected, the movie’s reception with Oscar voters has also been disappointing. The columnist is reporting that approximately 250 people – academy members and their guests (up to three per member) – showed up at the 1,000-seat Samuel L. Goldwyn Theater last Sunday to see the movie.

As I wrote here, the low turnout wasn’t surprising. I’ve never had so many academy members tell me point-blank that they won’t see a movie as they have with “Birth.” Reasons ranged from distaste over the details of Parker’s 1999 rape case, disdain for how Parker answered questions about his past while promoting the movie and a general fatigue with films about slavery.

Here’s the bottom line: Between the box office and voter indifference, don’t expect any Oscar nominations for “Birth.” Wow, that’s a damn shame and it’s a complete turn of events for a movie that many are calling a cinematic masterpiece and was easily expected to be a best picture nominee when it premiered at Sundance in January.

roman polanski
Roman Polanski with his Oscar for ‘The Pianist’

This situation could get interesting for Hollywood in the sense that undoubtedly some are going to see “Birth” being shunned as racist in light of the fact that filmmaker Roman Polanski won a best picture Oscar in 2003 for “The Pianist.” In fact, he couldn’t even accept the award because he can’t even set foot in the United States without being arrested.

And why is that, you ask?

Because Polanski, fled the US for France in 1978 as he was about to be sentenced to prison for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

READ RELATED STORY:  RAPE ACTIVISTS PLAN CANDLELIGHT VIGIL AT L.A. THEATER SHOWING ‘THE BIRTH OF A NATION’

Damn, talk about hypocrisy. So Hollywood doesn’t have a problem nominating and giving an Oscar to a CONVICTED white rapist, but when it comes to Nate Parker, a black visionary and director who was ACQUITTED of a rape charge, there’s a problem.

Oh yeah, there’s also this. Whip also wrote that: “Sunday’s shunning of “Birth” also signals the lingering resentment many academy members feel over January’s #OscarSoWhite controversy, when voters were criticized for nominating an all-white slate of acting nominees for a second consecutive year. The academy’s immediate pledge to diversify and broaden its membership angered many voters who believed the timing of the response implied that their balloting had racist undertones.

nate parker & wife
Nate Parker and his wife, Sarah DiSanto

It’ll also be interesting to see if the black community comes to Parker’s defense. It’s obvious that another one of the reasons – and perhaps the main reason – the film didn’t do better was the fact that it didn’t get much if any support from African American film goers and black women in particular who pledged not to see the film because Parker is married to a white woman.

So again we ask … should the sad state of affairs for Nate Parker and “The Birth of a Nation” be blamed on rape or racism?

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. To any of you folks out there who will not see the movie because of the negative media – you’re missing a good one. Also, does anybody know who exposed this whole rape thing? An Oscar-worthy, Black film was just sabotaged by some 17-year old news. Things that make you go hmmmm…..

  2. Sabotaged because racist white people could NOT stand the content.

    And black women swallowed the kool-aid on fake “rape.” If only black people knew about Centre County, PA.

    If Nate would raped that white girl they would have hung him in the public square. State College is one of the most racist places in Pennsylvania. Yet, 11 white people, and 1 black woman found Nate Parker NOT GUILTY.

    My people perish from lack of knowledge. The sisters can swirl their asses off, but Nate can’t…

    Personally I love black women, exclusively. But they are riding Nate hard…

    What a sad commentary, because Nate produced a great film.

    Salute Nate Parker, and damn the haters!

  3. You do realize that 60% of the people who saw Birth of a Nation were Black Women right? Where were the Black Men? Maybe if yall would have shown up it would have done better at the box office. GTFO with this Black women sabotaged Birth of a Nation we we made up more than half of the audience. Yall didn’t show up we did. So sip on that.

  4. Ummm… This brother right here saw the film 3 times, so you are NOT talking to me.

    I am interested to know where you got your stats on the demographic breakdown?

    And for the record, I was NOT addressing my very appropriate comments to “ALL” black women, so let me clear that up. I was addressing the skanks that conspired with the white trash to sabotage Nate’s film.

    I don’t have a beef with black women. I love black women, but NOT the skunky tricks who love to throw rocks at black men, and praise white men…

  5. First, of all it is not too late for Afro-Americans to see and support this film. Secondly, it is permissible for white folks to commit such hideous crimes toward women and not be charged, flee the country, etc. I think using that reason not to give credit and appreciation for this man work and his fellow colleagues is more racist than anything else. I think using that excuse behind Nate Parker being charged and at the same time being found innocence by the United States Judiciary system is not good enough for some people. All women who hollers rape does not mean it always happen as well as every man being accused is not the one that always rapes. Some men can be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I do not care what ethnic background his wife is however it should not change the person who he is. Also, Afro-American history has never been told to the fullest in my opinion. I believe if you read any history book, etc., the information is very limited and certain information is use to appease certain other ethnic group of people. There are eras such as C.E., B.C., A.D. and the present time to which all contribution by Afro-American in this WORLD in any form has been distorted from the truth. I welcome and wants to be enlighten even more about us. No, about any history because it is not ALL being told to the fullest. I am sure he did a lot of fact checking before Birth of a Nation appeared. If this movie do not get any nominations and win something then this so-called academy for movies on any level has not changed at all.

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