The past month has totally changed the perception of Nate Parker for many people.
His rape charges from 17 years ago has never been a secret —it’s always been on his Wikipedia page— but it was his initial response to the charges that turned folks off.
“Seventeen years ago, I experienced a very painful moment in my life,” he told Variety. “It resulted in it being litigated. I was cleared of it. That’s that.”
In the time that followed, there has been criticism from all directions about his misogynistic response. It was also discovered that the victim took her life in 2012 after years of dealing with depression.
On Saturday in an exclusive interview with Ebony.com, the actor-turned-director finally addressed his initial words about the case, what he’s done to atone, and how he’s teaching his daughter to avoid similar situations as she enters college.
Highlights from the interview, are below:
EBONY.com: It comes off like, two weeks after the fact, the criticism is up and now you have to say something because…
Nate Parker: Let’s just put it like this: if a person was accused of being a racist when he was young–he said some racially insensitive thing or someone had him on tape calling someone the n-word or whatever–and then you fast forward and he feels, Oh, back then I didn’t say this or that. He’s not thinking about the person that he hurt when he said what he said, or however it came out, or the effects that it could have had. He’s not thinking about it. He’s thinking about his own self and how he feels.
EBONY.com: Had you thought about her and this incident over the last 17 years?
Nate Parker: No, I had not. I hadn’t thought about it at all.
EBONY.com: That’s going to come off very…privileged.
Nate Parker: It is! Listen to me when I say I’m understanding that I’m dealing with a problem, like an addiction. Just like you can be addicted to White Supremacy and all of the benefits, you can be addicted to male privilege and all of the benefits that comes from it. It’s like someone pointing at you and you have a stain on your shirt and you don’t even know it.
I’m a work in progress. I’m trying to be better. I feel remorse for all the women that are survivors that felt I was being insensitive because I was. And I want to have a better understanding of how I can be more of an ally, if they’ll accept me. There will be people who won’t accept me, and that’s okay. All I can do is say that I stand for justice and really learn more about this issue so I can be a better ally of this issue.
What’s interesting is that despite this event being a ‘painful moment’ in his life, he hasn’t thought about it or the victim since it happened…. even having five daughters of his own.
Nonetheless, it’s good to see journalists doing their job and not pandering to the talent.
Read the complete interview by going here.