Nate Parker’s critically acclaimed “Birth of a Nation” was meant to encourage dialogue on such issues as race, sexual assault and black liberation — but instead became overshadowed by the star/director’s alleged involvement in a rape during his college days.
For the film’s stars, this turn of events was more than unfortunate, even more so for Gabrielle Union. Playing the role of a slave who gets raped in the historical drama, Union admits she hoped the press tour for the film would allow her to say “all the things that I’ve wanted to say…to the biggest audience I was ever going to get to listen to me talk about sexual assault.”
This wasn’t the case, and in an interview with Harpers Bazaar the 44-year-old actress laments the lost opportunity to bring these issues to the forefront.
“This is something we all signed up for with this very specific goal,” she tells Harpers. “Black liberation. Black resistance from the perspective of a sexual-assault survivor. And we don’t even get to talk about that.”
Instead, she says, “It’s like we all got thrown out. It’s like the baby and the bathwater all went down the drain.”