(AP/Chris Pizzello)

"Birth of a Nation" star Gabrielle Union speaks out on Nate Parker rape allegations

"I cannot take these allegations lightly," she wrote, no matter how important she thinks the film is


Scott Eric Kaufman
September 2, 2016 5:44PM (UTC)

Actress Gabrielle Union, one of the stars of the embattled but -- to date, at least -- still forthcoming "Birth of a Nation," wrote a deftly moving op-ed on her feelings about the film in the wake of revelations about its director, Nate Parker.

Union noted that on the one hand, the conversation started by the resurfacing of rape charges against the college-aged Parker is healthy in-and-of itself. "I took this part in this film to talk about sexual violence," she wrote.

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"To talk about this stain that lives on in our psyches. I know these conversations are uncomfortable and difficult and painful. But they are necessary. Addressing misogyny, toxic masculinity, and rape culture is necessary. Addressing what should and should not be deemed consent is necessary."

"Think of all the victims who, like my character, are silent," Union added.

She continued, writing that "[i]t is my hope that we can use this as an opportunity to look within. To open up the conversation. To reach out to organizations which are working hard to prevent these kinds of crimes. And to support its victims."

However, Union noted how difficult this could be -- even in cases like this one, in which she respects the accused rapist. "My compassion for victims of sexual violence is something that I cannot control. It spills out of me like an instinct rather than a choice."

So, she wrote, "[a]s important and ground-breaking as this film is, I cannot take these allegations lightly."

Read the entire op-ed at The Los Angeles Times...

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Birth Of A Nation Gabrielle Union Misogyny Nate Parker Rape Rape Culture

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