Trigger Warning: This article contains content regarding rape, sexual assault, and suicide.
Over the weekend, during the Venice Film Festival, actor Nate Parker apologized for being tone-deaf regarding his college rape charges that came to light when the actor’s film The Birth of A Nation premiered, as Vibe reports.
“The last three years have been such a learning experience for me,” Parker said. “I feel like I have gained so much wisdom from people in my circle.”
Parker was attending the film festival for the premiere of his latest film American Skin.
“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,” he said. “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.”
After Parker’s film, The Birth of A Nation about Nat Turner premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, it tanked at the box office, in part due to news breaking that the actor and director was charged with rape while attending Penn State University.
However, Parker was acquitted in 2001 of the charge, but he was accused of sharing crass comments about the incident after the victim committed suicide.
Parker has kept under the radar since the controversy but has recently re-emerged to promote American Skin, which is about police brutality.
Director Spike Lee traveled to Italy to support Parker on his new film and spoke to Variety to assert that he believes that Parker has grown since his previous actions.
“He explained to me the growth he had gone through, and also the pain, and when he said that, I said, ‘Come on, brother. I’m with you. That’s why I’m here,” Lee said.
Amid news breaking that Parker had apologized for his previous behavior, journalist and writer Britni Danielle, who has previously interviewed Parker, took to Twitter to share that the actor has previously told her the exact same thing when she interviewed him.
“He told me this same thing 3 years ago,” Danielle tweeted along with the link to the Variety story that Lee is quoted in.