As the controversy involving Nate Parker's past rape allegations intensifies nearing closer to the premiere of his film Birth of a Nation, several have poured in their opinions on the actor. One critic in particular, Oscar-nominated producer Amy Ziering, held no punches, slamming Parker and concluding that his lack of conviction does not negate his guilt.
In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, Ziering stated her critique, starting out with three quotes, two of which came from Parker — one of him speaking on his "responsibility as a filmmaker," and the other taken from his personal statement addressing the recent rape allegations. The third came from the victim's brother, "Johnny," who said, "I think the ghosts continued to haunt her."
"On the one hand, Parker rightfully implores us to bear unflinching witness to slavery's pernicious, intractable and horrific legacy — while on the other, he firmly states we should decisively close the door and curtail discussion on traumatic events that are part of his personal history, events whose legacy are — while incomparably smaller in scale — also achingly sad and piercingly horrific," Ziering said.
In response to Parker's statement where he said he "will not relive that period of my life," she said while this is a conscious decision on his part, "survivors of sexual assault don't have the luxury of that choice."
Ziering, who produced the 2012 documentary Invisible War on the subject of sexual assault, even provided statistics, with Parker in mind, to show that rape culture on college campuses continues to be unjustly handled. "1 in 5 women will be raped in college and in the military, yet less that 1% of these crimes result in a felony conviction," she said. "The absence of a conviction does not indicate the absence of guilt."
Ending her column, Ziering introduced the various injustices and epidemics that continue to plague America, from mass-incarceration to police brutality, and even commends the creation of Parker's upcoming film, adding, "No one wins when we whitewash history." However, she poses a question that urges for this appeal to be extended: "Don't we owe the same to survivors of sexual assault and their relentless ghosts?"
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(Photo: Angela Weiss/Getty Images for TheWrap)
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