Back in August, I wrote about the appalling and relentless Hollywood campaign to destroy Nate Parker, a 36-year-old black actor/director. Parker is the creative force behind "Birth of a Nation," last year's Sundance sensation that was sold to Fox Searchlight for a record $17.5 million. From out of nowhere, Parker suddenly found himself hailed as Hollywood's Next Big Thing. His future looked as bright and shiny as the Oscars he was almost certain to win.
Then came the news that back in 1999, a full 17 years ago, 19-year-old Parker, then a college student, had been accused of raping a fellow student. Parker was acquitted, and since he has apparently led a life free of any scandal. But none of that stopped left-wing Hollywood's preening social justice warriors from decimating his reputation, life and career.
Make no mistake, the 1999 incident was unquestionably tragic. A lot of bad behavior and terrible judgment resulted in dual rape charges and the alleged victim committing suicide in 2012. Moreover, Jean Celestin, co-writer of "Birth," was found guilty (before the conviction was overturned based on inadequate counsel) over his role in the alleged rape.
What I found so galling was Hollywood's indefensible double standard. Although he was acquitted and by all appearances is a happily married father and upstanding citizen, Parker is now a blacklisted Hollywood pariah. Meanwhile, Roman Polanski, who drugged, raped and sodomized a 13-year-old girl, is celebrated and his crime excused. Parker denied all the charges and was found guilty of nothing. Polanski admitted his guilt and then fled from justice. He is still a fugitive and reportedly went on to have sexual relationships (consensual and non-consensual) with other underage girls. Nevertheless, most every big Hollywood name you can think of has flown to Europe to work with the child rapist.
Polanski is white.
Parker is black.
If that isn't proof enough of Hollywood's racism, I give you Casey Affleck.
Affleck, who is white, is the 41-year-old star of the new critical darling "Manchester By the Sea," and the current frontrunner to win the Oscar for Best Actor. Unlike black Nate Parker, in order to ensure his path to Oscar glory meets no speed bumps, a number of very disturbing allegations from Affleck's recent past are so far being buried. A few outlets have covered the story, but this is a lit match compared to the five-alarm fire used to burn down Parker. [emphasis mine]
The [two] women who accused Affleck of sexual harassment worked for him on the critically derided Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary I’m Still Here in 2010. … Producer Amanda White and cinematographer Magdalena Gorka sued Affleck for $2 million and $2.25 million, respectively, alleging that Affleck verbally and physically harassed them throughout filming. At the time, Affleck was married to Summer Phoenix, Joaquin’s sister. …
White claimed that Affleck constantly discussed his “sexual exploits” during filming, and that at one point, he directed another crew member to show her his penis, despite her objections. White also alleged that Affleck once attempted to get her to stay in a hotel room with him, and when she said no, he “grabbed her in a hostile manner in an effort to intimidate her into complying.” Gorka described similar behavior in her complaint, including a disturbing incident in which Affleck allegedly crawled into bed with her while she was sleeping. … According to her complaint, Gorka woke up that night to find Affleck “lying in bed next to her.” He had entered the room while she was sleeping, she said, and when she woke up, “he had his arm around her, was caressing her back, his face was within inches of hers and his breath reeked of alcohol.” When she asked him to leave the room, he got angry. Gorka called her treatment on set “the most traumatizing of her career.”
After denying the allegations, Affleck settled both suits in mediation.
Black man acquitted of a single incident involving one woman 17 years ago (when he was 19) … has his entire career destroyed.
White man who settled two sexual harassment suits from two separate accusers that involve alleged behavior on a film set from just six years ago (when he was 35) … is well on his way to Oscar glory.
White man who fled from justice after admitting to raping a 13-year-old girl (when he was 44) … is still the toast of Hollywood.
For the record, I believe in second chances. If I were King, neither Parker nor Affleck would have any of this thrown in their respective faces. Both faced the consequences. Time to move on. Polanski, however, is a different issue. He has not paid for his admitted crimes. And that is all the difference in the world.
The double standard here belongs to left-wing Hollywood, and if this is not racism, if this is not a bunch of white leftists using the stereotype of the scary sexual black predator to signal their own precious virtue, please tell me what actual racism would look like.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC