*Director Nate Parker is hoping to make a grand comeback with his new police-brutality drama “American Skin,” which had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival last month.
The filmmaker was all the rage back in 2016 with his debut film, “The Birth of a Nation,” which was acquired by Fox Searchlight for a record $17.5 million deal at Sundance. The film tanked at the box office primarily due to the negative press surrounding Parker when news resurfaced that he had been charged with rape as a college student.
Although he was acquitted in that case, his callous comments about the incident and his accuser drew ire, especially when it emerged that the alleged victim later committed suicide.
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Nate Parker’s victim would have liked to tell her story, but alas, he took that away from her after she killed herself following years of trauma and addiction resulting from him and Jean Celestin’s rape of her in college. https://t.co/l80cXxGmAj
— Alecto AKA Sil Lai Abrams (@Sil_Lai) September 2, 2019
Parker now admits that he had been “tone deaf” in his past remarks regarding the rape charge, Deadline reports.
“The last three years have been such a learning experience for me,” he said at a press conference for “American Skin.” “I feel like I have gained so much wisdom from people in my circle,” he added.
“Three years ago I was pretty tone deaf to the realities of certain situations that were happening in the climate. And I’ve had a lot of time to think about that, and I’ve learned a lot from it,” he said. “And being tone deaf, there were a lot of people that were hurt in my response, in the way I approached things. I apologize to those people.”
Parker added that he felt very honored to be in the Venice Film Festival with “American Skin,” a film that he said, “I believe so desperately in.”
He added, “I’ve learned, I’m continuing to learn.“I’m 39 years old now. Hopefully I have a long way to go. The hope is that I can continue taking the wisdom from people who care enough…and help me to be introspective about where I am and what I’ve been through.”
Spike Lee, who is in Venice to support Parker and the film, said he and Parker chopped it up about his past. “He explained to me the growth he had gone through, and also the pain, and when he said that, I said, ‘Come on, brother. I’m with you. That’s why I’m here,” Lee said during the press conference.