Nate Parker isn’t shying away from the controversy about his past.
In an exclusive interview with EBONY, the Birth Of A Nation filmmaker once again addressed the 1999 rape allegations against him that have inconveniently resurfaced. While maintaining his innocence, Parker admits his 19-year-old self wasn’t very educated about the word “consent.”
“Let me be the first to say, I can’t remember ever having a conversation about the definition of consent when I was a kid. I knew that no meant no, but that’s it,” says the 36-year-old actor. “When you’re 19, a threesome is normal. It’s fun. When you’re 19, getting a girl to say yes, or being a dog, or being a player, cheating. Consent is all about–for me, back then–if you can get a girl to say yes, you win.”
The incident has made Parker hyper-aware of people in his immediate circle who have been affected by the controversy. “I can see that there are a lot of people that have been hurt, a lot of people that are survivors. I’m finding out people in my own circle that are survivors that I didn’t even know. There are people on my film that are survivors that carry that pain, and I had to call and talk to them all, like, how you feel about what’s happening? What do I need me to do? What do I need to get?”
The alleged incident took place during Parker’s undergraduate years at Penn State, where he and a friend both had sex with a heavily intoxicated classmate (Parker strongly maintains the encounter was 100% consensual). Though Parker was ultimately found innocent in court, the woman involved in the incident has since committed suicide. It’s a topic that have some movie-goers on the fence about whether or not they want to support the film.
Through the many conversations Nate Parker has had, he claims to be learning more about his male privilege.
“All I can do is seek the information that’ll make me stronger, that’ll help me overcome my toxic masculinity, my male privilege, because that’s something you never think about. You don’t think about other people. It’s the same thing with White Supremacy. Trying to convince someone that they are a racist or they have White Privilege–if it’s in the air they breathe and the culture supports them, sometimes they never have to think about it at all. I recognize as a man there’s a lot of things that I don’t have to think about. But I’m thinking about them now.”
Read more at EBONY
SOURCE: EBONY | IMAGE: Getty