Connect with us

NEWS

Rape Victim Gabrielle Union Responds To Nate Parker’s Past Sexual Assault Allegations

Published

on

Gabrielle Union is finally speaking out about the recently resurfaced Nate Parker rape allegations that, unfortunately, has tainted the positive buzz surrounding Parker’s historical film, The Birth of a Nation. 

Union, who stars in the feature directed and produced by Nate, wrote a op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, recounting her personal experience with rape and how it’s affected her views on Nate’s latest controversy.

The actress recalled being “raped at gunpoint in the cold, dark backroom of the Payless shoe store where I was then working” 24 years ago. Union explained that she had signed on to do the project before knowing about Nate’s accusal and acquittal of sexual assault seventeen years ago.

“Different roads circling one brutal, permeating stain on our society. A stain that is finely etched into my own history. Rape is a wound that throbs long after it heals. And for some of us the throbbing gets too loud,” she wrote. “Post traumatic stress syndrome is very real and chips away at the soul and sanity of so many of us who have survived sexual violence.”

Gabrielle, who in the drama plays an unarmed slave who was raped, explained that she wanted to do the project because she “related to the experience.” She explained, however, that she can’t take Parker’s allegations lightly.

“As important and ground-breaking as this film is, I cannot take these allegations lightly. On that night, 17-odd years ago, did Nate have his date’s consent? It’s very possible he thought he did. Yet by his own admission he did not have verbal affirmation; and even if she never said ‘no,’ silence certainly does not equal ‘yes.’ Although it’s often difficult to read and understand body language, the fact that some individuals interpret the absence of a ‘no’ as a ‘yes’ is problematic at least, criminal at worst. That’s why education on this issue is so vital,” Union wrote.

The Being Mary Jane actress opened up about raising sons and making sure she and husband, NBA champion Dwyane Wade, make efforts “to teach our sons about affirmative consent. We explain that the onus is on them to explicitly ask if their partner consents. And we tell them that a shrug or a smile or a sigh won’t suffice. They have to hear ‘yes.'”

According to Union, she read the full 700-page transcript from the case and still cannot draw a conclusion. She, however, explained, “I believe that the film is an opportunity to inform and educate so that these situations cease to occur on college campuses, in dorm rooms, in fraternities, in apartments or anywhere else young people get together to socialize.”

The 43-year-old concluded, “It is my hope that we can use this as an opportunity to look within. To open up the conversation. To reach out to organizations which are working hard to prevent these kinds of crimes. And to support its victims. To donate time or money. To play an active role in creating a ripple that will change the ingrained misogyny that permeates our culture. And to eventually wipe the stain clean.”

The Birth of a Nation is slated to release on October 7, 2016.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

Instagram

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending