Nate Parker was poised to be Hollywood’s next hot director following the 2016 release of his critically acclaimed big-screen debut, “Birth of a Nation”.

Instead, he became engulfed in controversy when it was revealed that he was acquitted on rape charges while attending college, with the accuser subsequently committing suicide.

Parker, 39, maintained his innocence during a 2016 interview with “Good Morning America”, declaring: “I was falsely accused, I was proven innocent and I’m not going to apologize for that.”

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However, Parker’s defiant response did not go over well, and he was roundly criticized for his perceived insensitivity and lack of remorse. The resulting backlash cast a pall over the release of “Birth of a Nation”.

With a new movie, “American Skin”, premiering at the Venice Film Festival, Parker spoke out about his response and admitted he didn’t handle it well.

“The last three years have been such a learning experience for me. I feel like I have gained so much wisdom from people in my circle,” said Parker at a press conference for his new film, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

RELATED: Nate Parker Clarifies Early Comments On Rape Trial Controversy, Spoke ‘From A Standpoint Of Ignorance’

“Three years ago I was pretty tone deaf to the realities of certain situations that were happening in the climate. And I’ve had a lot of time to think about that, and I’ve learned a lot from it. And being tone deaf, there were a lot of people that were hurt in my response, in the way I approached things. I apologize to those people,” he continued.

“I’ve learned, I’m continuing to learn,” added Parker. “I’m 39 years old now. Hopefully I have a long way to go. The hope is that I can continue taking the wisdom from people who care enough… and help me to be introspective about where I am and where I’ve been through.”

Director Spike Lee was also at the press conference, on hand to lend his support to Parker and the film.

RELATED: Nate Parker Defends His Film Amid Sexual Assault Allegations: ‘History Is Bigger Than Me’

“He explained to me the growth he had gone through, and also the pain, and when he said that, I said, ‘Come on, brother. I’m with you,” Lee told the audience. “That’s why I’m here.”

In “American Skin”, Parker (who also produced and wrote the screenplay) stars as Lincoln Jefferson, a recently divorced Marine veteran working as a janitor at an upscale in California school while attempting to repair his fractured relationship with his teenage son. When his son is shot during a routine police check and the officer involved is cleared of wrongdoing without even going to court,  Lincoln takes the law into his own hands by taking the entire police station hostage in order to conduct his own trial and seek justice for his son.

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2019 Venice Film Festival Red Carpets