As the Friday debut of his Nat Turner inspired film Birth of a Nation approaches, filmmaker and actor Nate Parker continues to field questions about his 1999 rape trial involving his co-writer Jean Celestin and a young woman who died by suicide in 2012. Sadly, his most recent interviews suggest that he still sees his abuse as secondary to his film-making. Once again, an abuser has centered himself in the trauma of someone he has traumatized.
While he has, at times, appeared to understand the gravity of his harm against the young woman and its explicit impact on the conditions of her death, in his recent appearances on “60 Minutes” and “Good Morning America,” Parker showed that even the mere discussion of those events were unfair to him. He offered no apologies and doubled-down on his claims that he was “vindicated” in court, disappointing entire swaths of fans and critics whose simple request is that he acknowledge and show remorse for his actions.
On October 2nd, Parker sat down with CNN Host Anderson Cooper for his appearance on “60 Minutes.” When asked if he believed he should apologize to the family for his actions 17 years ago, he replied with the following:
I’ll say this: I do think it’s tragic, so much of what’s happened, and the fact that this family’s had to endure, with respect to this woman not being here. But I also think that—and I don’t want to harp on this, and I don’t want to be disrespectful at all, but, at some point, I have to say it. I was falsely accused. I went to court, and I sat in trial. I was vindic—[with tears welling in his eyes] I was vindicated. I was proven innocent, I was vindicated. And I feel terrible that this woman isn’t here, and I feel terrible that her family had to deal with that. But as I sit here, an apology is…no.
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