Few have articulated the conflicting feelings about Nate Parker's Birth of a Nation better than one of it's stars, Gabrielle Union. The Being Mary Jane actress, who also stars in the film, recently penned a moving open letter explaining how the college rape scandal surrounding Parker made her feel as a rape victim herself.
Now, she's got something to say directly to those who plan to boycott the one-time Oscar frontrunner film, and it's worth paying attention.
Speaking at the film's Toronto International Film Festival premiere, where the film received a standing ovation from the audience, Union said, "For a lot of different reasons this film's going to be difficult to see for a lot of people, and I get it. There are movies I sit out, so I understand and I'd be a hypocrite to say I don't."
She continued, "But I would say this movement that this film has inspired includes our issues. That is my sole purpose, and I've been joined by so many advocates and allies on our cast and worldwide who say this is uncomfortable and everything makes me so angry, but I recognize that there is a movement that I want to be a part of, and that movement is education about sexual violence, toxic masculinity, misogyny, rape culture. I want to be a part of that."
Only time will tell if the film is able to overcome all the negative publicity that has dominated headlines these past few weeks.
See what Parker has to say about the controversy with BET Breaks, above.
(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)