Just last week, we reported that Nate Parker’s The Birth Of A Nation would skip the press conference portion of the Toronto Film Festival. That news broke not long after the AFI announced that a screening of the film, which centers on Nat Turner’s quashed rebellion, had been canceled amidst concerns from the student body about the resurfaced sexual assault allegations against Parker and Jean McGianni Celestin, who has a story credit for the film. Parker and Celestin were accused of sexual assault by a Penn State classmate in 1999. Parker was ultimately cleared of the charges; Celestin was convicted, but he successfully appealed the verdict and got a new trial, though the alleged victim wouldn’t testify again. Their accuser committed suicide in 2012.
The writer-director’s addressed the allegations in a couple of interviews, including this exclusive with Ebony, in which he claims to not have had a very clear understanding of consent when he was in college. And it seems that his recent introspection has bolstered his confidence in his ability to deal with a whole flock of journalists, as Variety now reports that Parker and the rest of The Birth Of A Nation cast will do a video junket at TIFF on September 10. That event will be followed by a press conference on September 11.