Filmmaker/Actor Nate Parker Deserves His Career Back
Embattled filmmaker/actor, who is currently promoting his comeback movie “American Skin,” deserves to have his career back.
Did you notice how I said Parker deserves his career back and not a second chance?
A second chance implies that he did something wrong and if Parker is not guilty of raping a young lady while a wrestler at Penn State University, he never should have gotten punished by Hollywood in the first place.
I usually see myself as a good judge of character.
Humbly bragging, I think God has gifted me with the gift of discernment, and like Jay-Z once rapped, “I can see a side eye in my sleep.”
Therefore, I also believe that I can discern a sincere spirit as well.
And when I met Parker on a couple of occasions while he promoted the film “Red Tails” with co-stars Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard and filmmaker Anthony Hemingway, we got along instantly.
I got the chance to interview him, along with the other actors and Hemingway, and I can remember our conversation veering into such topics as the prison industrial complex and the racism at bars and clubs on Washington Avenue in Houston.
Although he was in town promoting a movie for financial gain (i.e. success at the box office), the brother seemed more concerned with his brothers and sisters in the African-American community.
I observed no arrogance or sense of entitlement like I sometimes see in other celebrities.
Later on that night or the next day at the Houston premiere of “Red Tails,” attended by such luminaries as former President George H.W. Bush, Parker thanked me again for the interview and we chopped it up a little more on a lighter note.
But his compassion for the African-American community stood out to me because it seemed 100 percent genuine.
That is why I was not surprised that he did such a marvelous job on his passion project, the Nat Turner biopic, “The Birth of a Nation.”
Furthermore, I was not shocked when he refused to apologize for something he said he did not do as a college student.
Parker always seemed so sincere and upfront about everything else, so why would he just say something to appease the critics?
He appeared to be a man of integrity and someone who valued his reputation, so why apologize?
I would not have apologized either if I were innocent of jaywalking, let alone rape.
Nevertheless, Parker seemingly became the first poster child of the #MeToo movement.
While the movement to rid the workplace, and life, of sexual harassment should be a top priority of everyone, especially men, what world do we live in where women never lie or get their facts mixed up?
Women are human beings and capable of doing all of the good things and all of the bad things that men can do, therefore why do we immediately take one person’s word over the other?
If Parker had seemingly admitted to the rape, his career would have ended in Hollywood.
But Hollywood told him that even if you did not do it, we would shut you down anyway.
That type of attitude does not create more apathy to the plight of women; it creates more animosity.
In what world can a young Black man with no money and a public defender get exonerated for allegedly raping a White woman?
In Texas, just the accusation alone might have ended Parker’s life on the spot, let alone his future acting career.
What Parker is guilty of is not showing enough empathy for what would become the #MeToo movement.
However, that should not spell the end of his career.
That should require him to spend more time talking to women who have faced sexual harassment, sexual abuse or sexual assault.
And it should require him to spend more time with a crisis manager or public relations expert.
The actor/filmmaker said, “The last three years have been such a learning experience for me. I feel like I have gained so much wisdom from people in my circle.
“Three years ago I was pretty tone-deaf to the realities of certain situations that were happening in the climate. And I’ve had a lot of time to think about that, and I’ve learned a lot from it. And being tone-deaf, there were a lot of people that were hurt in my response; in the way I approached things. I apologize to those people.”
Parker seems to understand those mistakes.
Therefore, Hollywood should understand their mistake and embrace Parker with open arms.
Furthermore, society needs to understand their mistake of building someone up, just to later tear them down.
It seems that trend in society targets African-Americans more than other races.
The Bible says that some people worry about the speck in someone else’s eye when they have a plank in their own eye.
When Kevin Hart climbed the ladder of success, someone drug up old homophobic tweets to try to hurt his career and bring him back down to reality.
Michael Jackson died 10 years ago and even though his Estate is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, people continue to try to ruin his legacy with allegations of child molestation.
Simone Biles is regarded as the best gymnast in the history of the sport.
But the media wants to bring up that her estranged and biological (who was not raised with her) brother is accused of a triple murder.
So it is no surprise that when Parker broke a Sundance Film Festival record with the sale of “The Birth of a Nation” and began receiving Oscar buzz, someone had to burst his bubble.
And as a community, African-Americans need to know the game and how it is rigged against us.
As a result, we need to support our fallen brethren, for example by buying tickets to “American Skin,” when their fall is not of their own doing, but the result of a system set up against them.
He deserves it.