Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Nate Parker interview cut short following questions about rape case

(Photo: Getty Images, Matt Winkelmeyer)

The controversy surrounding filmmaker Nate Parker’s 1999 rape case—in which he was charged with sexual assault and then later acquitted—has hung over the release of his much-hyped The Birth Of A Nation (which tells the story of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion), and it shows no signs of going away any time soon. Just this weekend, a press conference for The Birth Of A Nation at the Toronto International Film Festival touched on the controversy a lot, with Parker trying to distance the movie from his personal life by explaining that “no one person…makes a film.” Penelope Ann Miller echoed this idea, saying “this isn’t the Nate Parker story, this is the Nat Turner story.”

Parker’s cast and crew are willing to acknowledge the controversy even if it’s just to ask that people separate the art from the artist, but Fox Searchlight—which bought the rights to The Birth Of A Nation for a record-breaking $17.5 million at Sundance—seems to be even less open about it than that. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, an interview between Parker and CBC reporter Eli Glasner was cut short when he began posing questions related to the rape controversy. Glasner first asked whether or not the issue has impacted the response to the film, with Parker saying, essentially, that the story is too important and that the cast and crew worked too hard to allow that, but when Glasner asked if Fox Searchlight had “changed [its] strategy” regarding The Birth Of A Nation at all, a voice off-camera abruptly told him they’ve “got to wrap up.”

Glasner says he was given five minutes for the chat, but was “nowhere near that” when he was told to finish. He also seems convinced that this happened because of the direction his questions were going in, with someone from Fox Searchlight presumably looking to avoid having Parker discuss the rape case any further. You can see video of Glasner’s interview below:

Share This Story