Nate Parker Blasts Media On ‘Steve Harvey’
Nate Parker is on a media tour in advance of the release of of his film The Birth of a Nation. Though the movie was initially a strong contender for awards season, the positive hype around the project was derailed once a 1999 rape allegation levied against the actor and Birth co-writer Jean Celestin was unearthed. Though Parker has maintained his innocence since the beginning, he admittedly came off arrogantly in a pair of interviews with Variety and Deadline.
“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,” Parker told EBONY.com in late August.
After a period of silence, Parker has reemerged this week in advance of the film’s opening on October 7. Over the weekend he spoke with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes and on Monday he sat down with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America. Each time Parker sidestepped the question about the incident that had overshadowed his award-winning film and said he would not be offering an apology because he was innocent.
In an interview with Steve Harvey, Parker once again refused to talk specifically about the accusation when asked.
“Going into details, trying to re-litigate a case is not something I’m willing to do,” he explained.
Instead, Parker turned his attention to the media, questioning if they’re more concerned about uncovering the truth or printing salacious headlines.
“Sitting here the last four weeks, watching the ticker of headlines, asking myself ‘What are these journalists trying to do? Do they care about anyone involved?'” he said. “I think it’s been a tragedy on so many levels.”
Harvey, who acknowledged that two men talking about rape “ain’t the best look” in the first place, went on to criticize the media for linking Parker’s accuser’s suicide to the actor.
“It’s not right,” Harvey said. “I find that to be just a bit unfair.”
Harvey then want on argue, “If you are a Black man in this country and you get accused of raping a white woman, your chances of walking out of that courtroom are slim to none.”
While historically a Black man accused of raping a White woman would face a difficult time in our justice system, what Harvey failed to mention, however, is that rape cases are some of the most difficult to prosecute and perpetrators of sexual violence and assault are “less likely to go to jail or prison than other criminals.”
As he mentioned in his interview with EBONY.com, Parker said he’s still learning, but wants to use his platform to speak out about violence against women.
“Are we in the business of headlines or are we in the business of healing, because I’m trying to do the work,” he said.
Watch a clip of Parker’s interview with Steve Harvey below.