Things aren’t looking good for Nate Parker and his new film Birth of a Nation. Amid all the controversy surrounding Parker’s rape case from 17 years ago, screenings to the much buzzed-about film have been cancelled, and one major film festival has dropped it from their lineup.
According to Deadline, the American Film Institute has axed a planned screening and Q&A with Nate that was scheduled to go down this Friday. AFI dean Jan Schuette made the announcement in a note to the film school’s fellows stating:
“I have been the recipient of many different passionate points of view about the screening, and I believe it is essential that we discuss these issues together –messenger and message, gender, race and more—before we see the film. Next week, we will be scheduling a special moderated discussion so we may explore these issues together as artists and audience.”
It’s unclear if or when they will do the screening at a later date. Following AFI pulling a screening, the Toronto International Film Festival has nixed a planned press conference and Q&A for the film. A spokeswoman for the festival told Deadline, “That’s definitive, it’s definitely not going to happen.”
Parker was also supposed to present the film at several colleges in Toronto, but that’s no longer happening either. Screenings for the film are still happening during the festival, and according to FOX execs, Parker will participate in the press junket.
The cancelled screenings are just the latest in the ongoing backlash Parker has received since revealing that he was acquitted of rape in 2001. Parker directed, co-wrote and stars in the Nat Turner slave revolt tale, which until now, was considered a sure bet for Oscar contention.
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