Meet Nate Parker -- He's Black
Last year Hollywood faced a brutal backlash for not nominating a single black actor or filmmaker for a major Academy Award. The prime beneficiary of the backlash was 36-year-old Nate Parker, who spent seven years birthing his directorial debut, "Birth of a Nation," a somewhat fictionalized look at Nat Turner, a slave who led a bloody revolt in Virginia in 1831.
This was a labor of love for Parker (he co-wrote the script and produced), a huge risk for an actor on the come in the prime of his career, and ultimately a triumph at Sundance where it won some prizes and sold to Fox Searchlight for a record $17.5 million.
All the pieces were in place for a cultural and awards phenomenon. In the wave of Black Lives Matter and an industry eager to get out from under the #OscarsSoWhite humiliation, Parker appeared to have captured the zeitgeist. By many accounts, the movie is even pretty good. A wide release was to follow a festival victory lap. In the end, Fox would make a fortune and Hollywood would redeem itself by handing Parker some of that sweet Oscar Gold.
Then the bottom fell out -- or is currently falling out.
Back in 1999, while attending Philadelphia State University on a wrestling scholarship, 19-year-old Parker and his friend Jean Celestin (who co-wrote "Birth") were accused of rape. Eventually, Parker would be acquitted. Celestin was convicted of sexual assault but the conviction was later overturned on the grounds that he had not received adequate counsel.
No matter how you look at it, the details of the case are harrowing. Worse case: Parker and Celestin raped someone too drunk to give her consent or to fight back. In other words, they ran a train on a comatose young woman. A third man was allegedly invited to join in but refused. Awful, awful stuff.
Best case: a very disturbed young woman was too drunk to remember giving her consent and a night of debauchery completely destroyed her life (she tragically committed suicide in 2012) and victimized two innocent men. The left-wing Daily Beast does an admirable job of breaking down the facts here.
Now that the story is out, the Social Justice Warrior sanctimony is red-lining. Academy voters are telling the media they won't even watch the movie and the American Film Institute just cancelled a screening.
A blacklist against Parker is building.
Now let's compare Parker's story to Roman Polanski's.
Meet Roman Polanski -- He's White
Polanski, the director behind "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby," is unquestionably a genius.
In 1977, at the age of 34, Polanski was arrested for raping 13-year-old!!! Samantha Geimer. Not only did he rape her, he drugged and raped her. Geimer also claimed she was sodomized. Polanski pleaded guilty to statutory rape but fled the country before sentencing. He was assured he would get a light sentence. The judge, who was well within his right, appeared ready to hand down a tougher sentence.
Since 1977 Polanski has been a fugitive from American justice for the admitted crime of drugging and raping a 13-year-old.
In 2002, Hollywood awarded Polanksi a Best Director Oscar.
In 2009, after it looked like Polanski might be extradited to the United States to finally face justice, Hollywood launched petitions and numerous public relations campaigns demanding he not face justice.
Since he admitted to raping a 13-year-old girl, without facing any backlash for working with a child rapist, stars such as Walter Matthau, Harrison Ford, Sigourney Weaver, Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kate Winslet, and Jodie Foster have appeared in Polanski's films.
Outside of America, the admitted child rapist has enjoyed the wealth and fame of celebrated filmmaker in every elite festival throughout the world.
As a 34-year-old man, white Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13 year-old girl!!!, and then fled from justice. He has been a fugitive ever since. Moreover, although he has settled down in his dotage, an unrepentant Polanski reportedly had sexual relations with other underage girls after the Geimer rape.
As a 19-year-old man, black Nate Parker was acquitted by a jury for the sexual assault of an 18-year-old woman. As of now, there have been no other accusations against Parker.
White Polanski is not only forgiven by Hollywood, he is celebrated and his crime defended.
How is this not the limousine leftists of Hollywood exposing themselves as out-and-out bigots -- as buyers into the racist myth of the over-sexualized black male predator?
Meanwhile, black Parker is on the road to being a blacklisted Hollywood pariah -- his career destroyed even before it got off the ground.
How is this not racism? How is this not the limousine leftists of Hollywood exposing themselves as out-and-out bigots -- as buyers into the racist myth of the over-sexualized black male predator?
There is no question that you can look at the facts of Parker's case and argue he was guilty. But that is not how America works and that is certainly not how our justice system is supposed to work.
An acquittal is an acquittal.
In this country, we believe in the rights of the accused and that you are innocent until proven guilty. To believe in anything else is mob rule. Mob rule does not begin and end with a lynching. Mob rule also includes trying a man in the kangaroo court of public opinion and destroying his career.
Nevertheless, even if he had been found guilty and served time, do we not give those who have paid their debt to society a second chance in America?
Well, in left-wing Hollywood, that courtesy is only extended to whitey.
Hollywood revealed its depraved self with its defense of a child rapist and now it is revealing its racist self with the public relations lynching of Nate Parker.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC