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Nate Parker on GMA: ‘I’m Not Going to Apologize’

nate parker

Actor and director Nate Parker appeared on Good Morning America Monday morning to promote the upcoming release of his film The Birth of a Nation. The film is due to hit theaters on Friday, but the bulk of his chat with Robin Roberts was spent on discussing Parker’s 1999 rape allegation.

Though it has been written about at length, Parker has given only a handful of interviews addressing the rape case which stemmed from his time at Penn State University. In an interview with Variety, published in early August, Parker said, “Seventeen years ago, I experienced a very painful moment in my life. It resulted in it being litigated. I was cleared of it. That’s that.” However, in an interview with EBONY later that month, he sounded more contrite, especially after learning that his accuser had committed suicide in 2012.

“I was acting as if I was the victim, and that’s wrong. I was acting as if I was the victim because I felt like, my only thought was I’m innocent and everyone needs to know. I didn’t even think for a second about her, not even for a second,” he told EBONY.

“You asked me why I wasn’t empathetic? Why didn’t it come off more empathetic? Because I wasn’t being empathetic. Why didn’t it come off more contrite? Because I wasn’t being contrite. Maybe I was being even arrogant. And learning about her passing shook me, it really did. It really shook me.”

Though his interview with EBONY seemed to assuage some of the criticism, Parker now seems to be returning to his defensive stance.

During his interview with Good Morning America, the actor said he will not apologize for the 1999 incident.

“I was falsely accused. I was proven innocent and I’m not going to apologize for that,” he told Roberts.

Instead of focusing on the rape scandal, Parker told Roberts he wanted to focus on the film and Nat Tuner’s legacy.

“I think the important thing, you know, is this isn’t about me,” he said. “The story of Nat Turner as an American, as American people, the story about a man who was erased from history, at some point. I think that’s where our focus should be.”

Birth of a Nation opens nationwide Friday, October 7. Watch the full Good Morning America interview here.