Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, recently told TMZ that Nate Parker’s rape accusation shouldn’t stop moviegoers from seeing his upcoming film “The Birth of a Nation.”
“With the issue of the movie, the important thing is for people to see it and enjoy the film, be impressed by the film,” Isaacs said. “I think that is what is very important. People need to see this movie.”
Parker was charged with rape while he was a student at Penn State University. He was acquitted of the charges in 2001, but the controversy surfaced again recently when reports came out that the woman who accused Parker of raping her had committed suicide at the age of 30.
Isaacs told TMZ that people should judge the film on the basis of its own merit and not based on Parker’s rape allegations, which she referred to as “one issue, that’s his personal issue.”
Parker’s film about Nat Turner’s slave rebellion has been getting early Oscar attention since it won the grand jury and audience prizes at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Though Isaacs hasn’t seen the film, she insists that audiences “need to see” it.
“I know just by the conversation that has gone on since Sundance that it’s clearly a movie that filmgoers should go and see,” Isaacs said. “My belief is that people need to see the movie and judge the movie.”
“The Birth of a Nation” opens in theatres on October 7.
Watch Isaacs speak with TMZ below:
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