On the Oct. 6 edition of “The Breakfast Club” radio show, “The Birth of a Nation” actor and director Nate Parker talks about the pushback he received when he announced that he would be making the Nat Turner biopic.
In recent months, “The Birth of a Nation” has been overshadowed by the details of a 17-year-old rape case in which the filmmaker was found not guilty. However, he ignited a new storm of criticism after he told “60 Minutes” correspondent Anderson Cooper that he would not apologize to the victim’s family.
“I’ll say this,” he said. ” … It’s tragic what happened and what this family has had to endure … I was falsely accused. I went to court and sat in trial … [And] I was vindicated. But apology … No.”
In the clip above, Parker tells the hosts that Black directors wanted him to alter his script to soften the blow for white audiences. He adds that he wanted to tell a story that showed Black people in charge of their own freedom. The filmmaker mentions Denmark Vesey, Gabriel Prosser and others as examples of freedom fighters who are not talked about.
“… Why is our history being hid?” he asks. “Even when I was trying to make this film people were like … there’s going to be a problem. Black people, like prominent directors, were like make the story about John Brown [a white abolitionist] … [Another Black director said] you need more good white people.”