Nate Parker Addresses Rape Accusation: Watch ‘GMA’ Interview (VIDEO)
Nate Parker appeared on Monday’s “Good Morning America” to discuss his new slave drama, Birth of a Nation, but the filmmaker also addressed being accused of raping a fellow classmate while he was a student at Penn State University in 1999. Watch the “GMA” video below.
Parker, the director, co-writer, and star of Birth of a Nation, and the film’s co-writer, Jean Celestin, were accused of raping a white female classmate in their dorm room in the late ’90s. The men claimed the sex was consensual, but the accuser said she was intoxicated and unable to consent. Parker was acquitted of the charges, but Celestin was found guilty before the verdict was overturned on appeal. Their accuser went on to commit suicide in 2012.
When asked on Monday’s “GMA” if he feels remorse about the situation, Parker said, “Look, I was on ’60 Minutes’ last night. We talked about it. I think the important thing, you know, is this isn’t about me.” The filmmaker went on to insist the “focus” should be placed on his film, which tells the true story of Nat Turner leading a slave rebellion in 1831. He added, “The story of Nat Turner as an American, as American people, the story about a man who was erased from history.”
But when host Robin Roberts contended the rape controversy is a major topic that should be discussed in addition to his movie, Parker responded, “I’ve addressed it so many times… At some point, you know, I’ve talked about it and I keep talking about it.” He added, “I was falsely accused. I was proven innocent and I’m not going to apologize for that. I feel terribly about that situation but at some point we have to ask ourselves, is this a film that’s important to us?” Watch Parker’s full “GMA” interview below.