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WENN CinemaCon Bi Screen Achievement Awards held at Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nv on April 14, 2016 Featuring: Nate Parker, Aja Naomi King

Nate Parker Apologizes For Lack Of Gender Perspective, Addresses Male Privilege

Nate Parker has been getting dragged relentlessly over the past few weeks, ever since details of past sexual assault allegations hit the news. Faced with cancelled screenings and potential backlash against his latest film project, Parker is admitting his initial response to his past being brought up was not the best:

According to Ebony reports:

After answering a question about why he chose to make “yet another slave film,” Parker addressed the controversy head-on.

“I think it’s very difficult to talk about injustice and not deal with what’s happening right now,” the 36-year-old actor and director told the audience. “When I was first met with the news that this part of my past had come up, my knee-jerk reaction was selfish. I wasn’t thinking about even the potential hurt of others; I was thinking about myself.”

For the next 12 minutes, Parker discussed learning about things like toxic masculinity and male privilege, while explaining that he isn’t upset the rape allegation has been resurrected.

“This is happening for a very specific reason,” Parker explained, referencing God throughout the conversation. “To be honest, my privilege as a male, I never thought about it. I’m walking around daring someone to say something or do something that I define is racist or holding us back, but never really thinking about male culture and the destructive effect it’s having on our community.”

Definitely a good start right? There’s more though. Parker spoke at length with the Ebony reporter, discussing how little his 19-year-old self understood about consent and honestly a lot of what he has to say is STILL problematic.

EBONY.com: You started out tonight addressing the controversy, and you talked a lot about male culture and toxic masculinity. So I want to kind of compare. What, at 19, did you know about consent?

Nate Parker: To be honest, not very much. It wasn’t a conversation people were having. When I think about 1999, I think about being a 19-year-old kid, and I think about my attitude and behavior just toward women with respect objectifying them. I never thought about consent as a definition, especially as I do now. I think the definitions of so many things have changed.

EBONY.com: So how does it differ for you?

Nate Parker: You mean like where I am right now?

EBONY.com: Yeah, as 36-year-old Nate.

Nate Parker: Put it this way, when you’re 19, a threesome is normal. It’s fun. When you’re 19, getting a girl to say yes, or being a dog, or being a player, cheating. Consent is all about–for me, back then–if you can get a girl to say yes, you win.

Wayment. Did he actually say “a threesome is normal”? As in a threesome with two guys and a girl? That’s normal? Is that something that most people would agree with? Cuz we’re not seeing it.

The good news is Parker does OWN up to the selfishness of his initial response:

EBONY.com: You mentioned that your initial comments about the resurrection of this incident were self-centered, and from an emotional place on your behalf. So do you understand why people are struggling with…

Nate Parker: Absolutely! I understand now, but I was speaking from a standpoint of ignorance.

EBONY.com: Two weeks ago, you mean?

Nate Parker: Yeah. Well, when you don’t know, you don’t know. It’s like, if I don’t know how to swim and two weeks later I know how to swim, I know how to swim. Honestly, when I started reading them comments I had to call some people and say, What did I do wrong? What did I say wrong?

I called a couple of sisters that know that are in the space that talk about the feminist movement and toxic masculinity, and just asked questions. What did I do wrong? Because I was thinking about myself. And what I realized is that I never took a moment to think about the woman. I didn’t think about her then, and I didn’t think about her when I was saying those statements, which was wrong and insensitive.

I just really wanted to know more about what I was talking about. People were saying, why isn’t he speaking soon? Cuz I still didn’t know nothing. I don’t want…this ain’t the hype for me.

Much better. Now we’re getting somewhere. More on Parker’s awakening when you continue.

WENN

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