Besieged filmmaker Nate Parker will not attend a press conference at the Toronto Film Festival.
Parker, who wrote, directed and produced the slavery movie Birth of a Nation, has come under fire for using a 17-year-old rape case to portray himself as a victim — a black man accused of rape in America.
Parker was accused of raping a 18-year-old woman at Penn State in 1999.
He was acquitted of rape in 2001. But the woman’s torment didn’t end there. Parker and his fraternity brothers reportedly harassed and bullied the woman into silence.
She took her own life in 2012.
The Toronto International Film Festival organizers quietly removed Birth of a Nation from the official TIFF lineup of press conferences.
The action follows the American Film Institute’s cancellation of a Birth of a Nation screening and a Nate Parker Q & A scheduled for Friday.
But not all of the screenings have been cancelled.
Journalist and blogger Jawn Murray is set to host a private screening of Birth of the Nation at the Merge Summit tonight in Hollywood. It isn’t clear if Parker will attend.
In a tense phone call last night, Murray demanded that I delete my Tweet expressing surprise at his decision to host the film.
Murray has the right to host anything he wants. And I have the right to express my opinion on a public forum.