Author Topic: Nate Parker's past raises questions about Birth of a Nation  (Read 3688 times)

Offline Emperorjones

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Nate Parker's past raises questions about Birth of a Nation
« on: August 15, 2016, 05:34:23 pm »
http://variety.com/2016/film/news/nate-parker-rape-allegations-birth-of-a-nation-1201837461/

I wondered what the fix would be for this film. I was skeptical when Fox Searchlight purchased it, if they would alter it in some way or do something to basically crap on the legacy of Nat Turner. Well perhaps they didn't need to if the revisiting of Nate Parker's past tarnishes the film by association. I wonder if Parker had sold his film to Byron Allen if Allen would be wringing his hands right now?

Offline Hypestyle

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Re: Nate Parker's past raises questions about Birth of a Nation
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 06:25:18 am »
sidebar:  "The African American 490 challenge" is a local charity that raises funds to test rape kits in the City of Detroit, where as recently as 2012 there was a backlog of well over 10,000 untested rape kits.
http://www.aa490challenge.org

http://www.freep.com/story/news/columnists/rochelle-riley/2016/07/10/erykah-badu-donate-concert-funds-aid-detroit-rape-kit-project/86904412/

Kudos to Mr. Parker and his team for producing a film about an important figure/world history incident, and getting it to a mainstream audience via a major film distributor.

Alas... Fairly or unfairly, Mr. Parker is just going to have to be as honest as possible whenever the topic comes up about this incident in his past.

As this will inevitably come up on more websites/message boards and black talk radio, I just hope that the conversation gets beyond the tropes of "plenty of women lie" and "it's all a setup"....  Critiquing US criminal justice bias against blacks and addressing sexual assault prevention within African-American social circles don't have to be mutually exclusive.
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Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Nate Parker's past raises questions about Birth of a Nation
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 07:39:16 am »
Thanks for the sidebar. I didn't realize there was a situation of that magnitude in Detroit, and likely elsewhere too.

As for Parker, he was acquitted of the rape charge so I think that does have to be taken into account when the media covers this story. The man was cleared in the eyes of the law so why bring it up, why lead with that, especially when that wasn't an 'issue' before in his career? Granted, he has a much higher profile now, but I do see the rape case being used to define him in a negative light. Looking more into the case the other person involved, whom Parker maintains contact with and I believe co-wrote Birth of a Nation, he wasn't acquitted so his record here is more dubious but he's not a celebrity, he's not the face of this project, so the media doesn't care about him.

I disagree with you that the critique and calls of reform in the criminal justice system and crimes (including rape and other sexual assault) that occur in the black community are not mutually exclusive because I also see this kind of linking leading to dodging  on the issue of criminal justice reform. It goes back to the 'black on black crime' deflection, and essentially, 'clean up your own house before you criticize police/justice system', and I'm not down with that. White people never get that sermon. Nor do I think that black people, who are citizens who pay taxes and contribute to this society in multiple ways should wait on expecting public servants to actually do their jobs and respect their constitutional and human rights, not when that is something that happens basically automatically for just about every other citizen in the country.

Rape is an important issue, as is drug dealing, murder, and a host of other crimes afflicting black people (but also afflicting other communities as well), but I don't think we should lump it all together with criminal justice reform. Nor do I think these issues are race specific, now how they are dealt with is likely very well tied to race and economics and I think that is a welcome conversation that dovetails right back into the criminal justice reform issue. That being said, I don't think we should get distracted by including every ill in the criminal justice reform debate. Narrow on accomplishing that without feeling we have to tackle every other subject at the same time, that we are going to achieve some comprehensive criminal justice and community reform at the same time. I don't think many advocates of reform want no police or prisons (though there are some that do), but they want to be treated fairly if they encounter police and they don't want to be excessively, aggressively, or illegally over-policed either.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 07:41:01 am by Emperorjones »

Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Nate Parker's past raises questions about Birth of a Nation
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2016, 09:10:58 am »
I'm not sure that I understand your disagreement, EJ. It seemed that you were agreeing with Hype for the most part (or at least what I understood Hype's point to be). Namely, that one can advocate for criminal justice reform (that is, actual justice) and for sexual assault prevention. How can those be mutually exclusive when nearly everyone in favor of the first supports the second?

I take your point that opponents of criminal justice reform often dissemble with the black-on-black crime bullsh*t fallacy among other non-sequiturs. Chalk that up to the game. They are creating FUD -- fear, uncertainty, doubt -- to distract. So we have to maintain clarity and focus. (I think that's what you said.)

To me, that doesn't mean we can't walk and chew gum at the same time. I'm for fair and just policing and prosecution, not leniency. I think that puts me in the majority (at least here on HEF anyway).  ;)

That is, I think I agree with most everything you said. And what Hype said. So I'm not sure if there's a disconnect. Maybe it's just a question of emphasis.
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Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Nate Parker's past raises questions about Birth of a Nation
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 12:07:33 pm »
Curtis,

Good point. I had originally written that I didn't find the two issues mutually exclusive but as I finished up my thoughts and looked back over it, it seemed like I was just saying I agreed with Hype but spent the rest of my post disagreeing, or at least it felt that way to me, so that's why I wrote it like that.

I do think we need to look at all the issues, all the ills. However I just don't want the black community to get the onus, to be painted with the brush that we are the only community afflicted by these ills, and if they are more rampant or persistent in our community I want more exploration into why that is instead of believing black people are defective in some way that is beyond help, empathy, compassion, or a just treatment by law enforcement and other public institutions. Further it seems to me that its very easy for white people, and often black, to say, 'Hey that's on you' when it comes to addressing issues in the black community. They aren't national issues or national tragedies, they are depicted as internal matters.

Which is hypocritical and disingenuous because if black people start talking about racial pride/consciousness, building and doing for self then they are charged with being self-segregationists and reverse racists. Even in the criminal justice debate a lot of the focus seems to be on black 'responsibility', like with the racism debate, like its a 'black' problem, when racism (which I think the unequal criminal justice issue is a symptom of) are not black problems, they are white problems that have a deleterious affect on blacks. Yet whites are never told to clean up their own house.

I am for fair and just policing and also leniency based on the case or particulars. For example non-violent drug offenses shouldn't result in decades of prison time. I'm also for the restoration of voting rights for felons and also removing the stigma of having a record on job applications, etc, though depending on the crime. But I also support the idea of capital punishment, not its unfair and racist application.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 12:11:36 pm by Emperorjones »

Offline Hypestyle

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Armie Hammer comments on Nate Parker, Casey Affleck
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2017, 04:33:56 pm »
http://www.vulture.com/2017/11/armie-hammer-slams-industrys-affleck-parker-double-standard.html

the industry November 20, 2017  10:45 am

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images 
When The Hollywood Reporter asked Armie Hammer about the sexual-assault scandal that engulfed Nate Parker’s The Birth of Nation, which Hammer co-starred in last summer, the actor spoke openly about the double standard he saw at work. As Parker was put in director’s jail for a series of non-apologies following the reemergence of a college rape allegation and the victim’s suicide, Casey Affleck won the Oscar for Best Actor despite being sued in 2010 for sexual harassment by two female crew members from I’m Still Here. “I’m not saying Nate should not have been in trouble. I’m saying that they got in different levels of trouble,” Hammer told THR. “And that’s the disparity. It’s like there are two standards for how to deal with someone who has this kind of issue in their past, you know?” Hammer says the rollout of Parker’s college rape allegation was intentional:


The timing of the headlines “was orchestrated for sure,” says Hammer. “There was another person in the industry, who had a competing film for the Academy Awards, who decided to release all of the phone records and information. I’ve been told who did it — by several people.” (Hammer refuses to say who he believes it was.) He thinks the incident reveals a double standard. “Nate had the stuff in his past, which is heinous and tough to get beyond. I get that,” he says. “But that was when he was 18, and now he’s in directors jail. At the same time, the guy who went and won an Academy Award has three cases of sexual assault against him.”




I ask if he is referring to Casey Affleck, who was sued in 2010 for sexual harassment by two female crewmembers on the set of I’m Still Here and who won the 2016 best actor Oscar for Manchester by the Sea. “Yeah,” he says. (Affleck, in fact, had two civil suits filed against him, both of which were settled out of court and dismissed.) “And [Parker] had one incident — which was heinous and atrocious — but his entire life is affected in the worst possible way. And the other guy won the highest award you can get as an actor. It just doesn’t make sense.”

After Birth of a Nation fizzled, Hammer was invited to join the Academy. “I always open my mouth too much, but f*ck it,” he told THR. “I think I got accepted into the Academy largely because of the way the Birth of a Nation thing was handled.”


Sources
THR 
Related
Armie Hammer’s Complicated Affair With Call Me by Your Name
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Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Nate Parker's past raises questions about Birth of a Nation
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2017, 04:46:35 pm »
I give him credit for even bringing up Birth of a Nation and somewhat defending Parker. But what I didn't like was that his comments seem to imply that Parker was guilty (he was found innocent) and it seems like Hammer did accept the invitation to join the Academy even though he suspects its a consolation prize for how Nation was destroyed. Reminds me of how weasely Justin Timberlake was in how he treated Janet. I think it was the Grammys or something that year of the Super Bowl Incident where Janet was not invited but Timberlake was and if I recall correctly he went.

To Hammer's main point though I agree with him that there was a hit job out of Parker, an orchestrated one that some black feminists joined in. And those feminists were largely quiet about Casey Affleck and seem mostly silent now with all of these revelations coming out of Hollywood. That being said, we might see them go after Russell Simmons and Benny Medina. They know who to attack and when. Parker was safe for them to attack and plus being a black man, he's the locus of black feminist hatred. They don't seem to be so up in arms about all the white men being accused lately. Or even when the Parker thing happened. No one was protesting Johnny Depp who his then-wife Amber Heard accused of abuse. And no one is going after Russell Crowe for his treatment of rapper Azaelia Banks when it happened and even a few weeks ago when I think RZA did admit that Crowe had been rough with her ( I can't remember if RZA meant verbally or physically). But still, where was the black feminist outrage for a sister in need?

Offline Emperorjones

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Re: Nate Parker's past raises questions about Birth of a Nation
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2017, 05:39:25 am »
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/11/20/armie-hammer-nate-parker-directors-jail/

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/12/08/armie-hammer-apologizes-casey-affleck-sexual-harassment/

Well, it didn't take long for Hammer to start backing away from his statements, somewhat. I'm surprised that he spoke out at all, with his new movie getting a lot of buzz and likely some Oscar nominations. Speaking might have hurt it's Oscar chances and his.