Have rape allegations against 'Birth Of A Nation' writer and star Nate Parker ruined his relationship with co-star and friend Gabrielle Union?
On Wednesday, Nate Parker sat down with Steve Harvey to talk about the rape allegation backlash he has experienced during his press campaign for The Birth of a Nation, dishing on the incident and how it has affected his friendship with the star and sexual assault survivor herself. When asked about his current relationship with Union, Parker said they have talked about her own rape and they are solid.
“We talk all the time,” he said. “She is using her platform to bring attention to this issue...I am in alignment with her and I am supportive of her.”
Union has been thoughtful in response to the allegations, writing an op-ed for the LA Times on the subject. But she also knows that numerous conversation she has had with Parker on the subject will leave him a changed man, she told VIBE.
“I’m not going to leave that man in the same way I found him,” Union said. “I have to educate him. He’s raising five girls, I have to educate him.”
On Harvey's daytime show, Parker also blamed the media for choosing to promote negative headlines. Parker has been navigating the ongoing scandal around past allegations of rape made against him in 1999, which resulted in a trial at which he was acquitted. He was a student at Penn State at the time, but the incident has resurfaced in the months leading up to the film's release.
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'What are these journalists trying to do” he asked. “Do they care about anyone involved? Do they care about what we’ve been talking about? I think it’s been a tragedy on so many levels."
The allegations have remained a major topic during his press campaign for the critically acclaimed movie, often overshadowing discussion of the historical and cultural importance of the film. Parker has also been heavily criticized for what many say is a glib response to questions about the case, especially in light of the reveal that his accuser had committed suicide in 2012.
Birth of A Nation centers around Nat Turner, a literate slave who leads a two-day rebellion in Virginia, which resulted in the deaths of about dozens of white men and women.
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