Friday, 7 October 2016
'Birth of a Nation' movie risks Oscar loss following its director's rape assault controversy
Posted by Health Journo
The Oscar award race is on and 'The Birth of a Nation' has gone from being a strong Oscar hopeful to almost being thrown out. This is as a result of the controversy, stemming from a rape-assault accusation levied at writer-director-star Nate Parker in college some 15 years ago. Nate Parker who played the role of historic American, Nate Turner, while attending Penn State in the late 1990s, was accused alongside his wrestling teammate Jean Celestin, of raping a female student. Parker was found not guilty, while Celestin was found guilty, only to have his conviction overturned later on. Though the case has been a matter of public record for over a decade, it only recently entered the spotlight as a result of Parker's increased profile: He wrote, directed, and stars in the Nat Turner movie which set a sales record and is figured to be a major player in this year's Oscar race. (Celestin his friend, also shares a "story by" credit on the movie which is expected to finally come out in theaters. According to reports from mainstream media, the news recently filtered out that the woman in the case committed suicide in 2012. Now, Parker's film is spurring debates about the divide between the artist and his art. Parker has reportedly embarked on a last-minute PR campaign to respond to the controversy in the lead up to the film's release this weekend. This follows reports by The Hollywood Reporter that Oprah Winfrey initially suggested that Parker do an interview with her best friend Gayle King on CBS to discuss the allegations shortly after they were dug up. Oprah was one of the first to screen the Birth movie and had praised both the film and Parker on Instagram. However, Parker was reportedly so "angry" that the charges he'd been acquitted of were being discussed at all that he turned down her help. Parker needs all the luck he can get on this one...