A street artist is plastering altered Birth of a Nation movie posters all over West Los Angeles, Ca.
The movie posters feature the slave film’s star Nate Parker with an American flag twisted into a noose around his neck. Under his image is the stylized word “Rapist” with a question mark next to it.
According to Hollywoodreporter.com, the altered movie posters are the work of a street artist named Sabo.
“I was very offended when I first saw the original poster,” Sabo tells The Hollywood Reporter. “What it tells young, influential blacks is that their country is out to hang them, that they don’t stand a chance so why try?”
Sabo plastered his movie posters at bus stops and on telephone poles around West LA, near the Fox lot where movies are made. Fox Searchlight Pictures is releasing the movie in October.
Parker and his college roommate, Jean McGianni Celestin, were both charged with raping an 18-year-old woman when they were all students at Penn State 1999.
Parker and Celestin were 19 at the time of their arrests.
Parker, who wrote and directed ‘Nation’, was acquitted of raping the woman. Celestin was convicted of sexual assault, but his conviction was later overturned. Celestin has a writing credit in Birth of a Nation.
The irony that a slave movie was written by 2 accused rapists was not lost on social media.
Critics say the men were acquitted of rape because they were students on Penn State’s wrestling team. Penn State has a sordid reputation of protecting athletes who are accused of sexual crimes.
In an interview with Variety magazine that was published on Monday, the woman’s brother said she committed suicide by taking an overdose of pills in a mental facility in 2012.
“It’s hard,” he said, “seeing my sister’s life slowly crumble while these men are by all accounts relatively successful and thriving.”
He added: “I feel certain if this were to happen in 2016, the outcome would be different than it was. Courts are a lot stricter about this kind of thing. You don’t touch someone who is so intoxicated — period.”
A planned promotional tour for the movie was scrapped by Fox. The promo tour called for Parker to visit HBCU colleges and other schools to discuss “social injustices” affecting black people.
Once a serious contender for an Oscar, Birth of a Nation is expected to bomb at the box office.