nate parker
60 Minutes, CBS

After a pair of TV interviews, it’s clear that Birth of a Nation actor and director Nate Parker isn’t going to apologize for the 1999 rape allegation levied against him, no matter how much people may want him to. On Sunday, Parker appeared on 60 Minutes and told Anderson Cooper an apology isn’t going to happen.

“I was falsely accused. You know, I went to court. And I sat in trial. I was vindicated. I was proven innocent. I was vindicated,” he said. “And I feel terrible that this woman isn’t here. You know, I feel terrible that, you know, her family had to deal with that. But as I sit here, an apology is– no.”

Parker, who has maintained his innocence since the accusation was raised, took the same stance during a Good Morning America appearance Monday morning when he stopped by the talkshow to promote the upcoming release of Birth of a Nation. The award-winning film is due to be released on Friday, but the bulk of his chat with Robin Roberts was spent on discussing Parker’s reaction to the resurfaced rape allegation.

Though it has been written about at length, Parker has given only a handful of interviews addressing the rape case, which stemmed from his time at Penn State University. In an interview with Variety, published in early August, Parker said, “Seventeen years ago, I experienced a very painful moment in my life. It resulted in it being litigated. I was cleared of it. That’s that.” However, in a candid chat with EBONY later that month, he sounded more contrite, especially after learning his accuser had committed suicide in 2012.



“I was acting as if I was the victim, and that’s wrong. I was acting as if I was the victim because I felt like, my only thought was I’m innocent and everyone needs to know. I didn’t even think for a second about her, not even for a second,” he told EBONY.

“You asked me why I wasn’t empathetic? Why didn’t it come off more empathetic? Because I wasn’t being empathetic. Why didn’t it come off more contrite? Because I wasn’t being contrite. Maybe I was being even arrogant. And learning about her passing shook me, it really did. It really shook me.”

Though his interview with EBONY seemed to assuage some of the criticism, Parker now seems to be returning to his defensive stance.

During his interview with Roberts, the actor once again said he will not apologize for the 1999 incident.

“I was falsely accused. I was proven innocent and I’m not going to apologize for that,” he told Roberts.

Instead of focusing on the rape scandal, Parker told Roberts he wanted to focus on the film and Nat Tuner’s legacy.

“I think the important thing, you know, is this isn’t about me,” he said. “The story of Nat Turner as an American, as American people, the story about a man who was erased from history, at some point. I think that’s where our focus should be.”

In 2001, Parker was found not guilty of rape, but his friend and Birth of a Nation co-writer Jean Celestin was convicted. However, Celestin’s conviction was overturned on appeal and he was never retried.

After the 60 Minutes interview, Parker continued his media blitz, stopping by T.D. Jakes new show where he explained why decided to tell Nat Turner’s story in the first place.

Birth of a Nation opens nationwide Friday, October 7.



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