The Nate Parker Rape Controversy and Why You Should Still See 'Birth of a Nation'
Success comes with a dark past, and the peak of a person’s career is when the past comes to light. Nate Parker has been on the movie screens for quite some time, however his past has taken the forefront of his career. It makes you wonder…why now? It’s devastating to hear him being involved in a rape case, no matter what role he played, but how long has this information been hidden underneath the surface in Hollywood? Sadly the victim committed suicide, however it’s not like she had a chance to tell the media. So who else knew, and why now?
Parker was acquitted for the rape case, however in 2012 the victim committed suicide at the age of 30 years old. Blogs stated Parker didn’t now about the suicide and was saddened when the news was brought to his attention. No one deserves to be a victim of rape, yet if Parker was acquitted why the controversy? Filmmaking is an art Parker has chosen as a career, and even though he was suspected to have been involved in a rape case, he did what any other man would do. Continued on with his life, and pursued his goals. Now that the issue has come to light, Parker has to relive the tragedy he’s personally tried to overcome.
This also brings the tragedy back up for the victim’s family. Anytime the media gets involved, it makes the case worse, and brings up opinions that didn’t matter in the beginning. When dealing with Hollywood every successful person has to understand their past will come up and people will use it to try to destroy their careers, especially for Black Americans. We will never know what happened, and if Parker was acquitted it makes a person wonder to what degree did he play a role? The incident is something Parker has to take up for the rest of his life and will continue to suffer til this day.
It’s clear he was doing something he didn’t have any business doing to put himself in that predicament. However, where can we go from here? Bringing up the past will do what? This is something that shouldn’t be ignored, but there are things happening in life right now that needs the attention of the media. This controversy should be a wake up call to people who want to be successful in life. Your past actions can and will reenter your life when you become successful. We all get that. But what is Hollywood really trying to do here?
The controversy will play a role to Hollywood, but I don’t think it will to viewers, especially Black Americans. There will be some Black Americans, who may not support the movie because of his previous actions, but as Black Americans we know issues like this happens all the time to White Americans and they continue to pursue their respective careers. The Black Lives Matter movement will show their support in a movie because it plays a pivotal role in society of America. Earlier this year we heard the issue arise about the Whiteness of the Oscars, and the division between Blacks and Whites over the criticism of it. Hollywood may take a step back and tamper with releasing Birth of a Nation, yet imagine the amount of people in the Black Lives Matter movement that will speak up and state the unfairness. They will bring up cases of White Americans that are directors and have a bad history. The Black Lives Matter movement is strong in today’s time, perhaps strong enough that it will change the mind of Hollywood executives. No company wants to look bad, and Hollywood has faced enough this year, therefore the uproar will be heard, and the movie will be released.
The people who don’t want to see it may have their reasons that are not based on Parker’s controversy. Over the past five years, America has witnessed the heavy-handed release of movies related to slavery. There was Django Unchained, 12 Years A Slave, Amistad, Book of Negros, and Underground just to name a few. Some viewers enjoy it, while others are tired of watching it. It appears to some viewers that it’s another story explaining why Black Americans are the way they are. It makes you wonder who are these movies made for, white or black people? Do White Americans want to understand us? And will they understand by paying to see a movie that reveals the truth about their ancestors? It’s hard to watch your own ethnicity hurt other people, then you have people who don’t care, and will never see the wrong that White’s did during slavery time.
Despite Parker’s past record I will say Birth of a Nation will play and receive great reviews. It may go down a bit, but it’s a movie that tells the truth, and that’s what people like to see. Parker could not have come out with this movie at a better time. I think Hollywood knows that and digging up the past is just a burden to stump the next level of success Parker will face in his career.
About the Author - Guest Blogger Jamie Rockymore
I write with a purpose, which is to support, educate, and motivate this generation. We have work to do people, and I won’t stop until my voice is heard. Please check out my website JamieRockymore.com for updated blogpost.