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Posted On June 17, 2021
On this week’s edition of the Rotten Tomatoes subreddit, the discussion continues on a number of topics, including the movie industry and the current state of politics.
First up is a look at the movie-industry backlash, which saw the release of The Birth of a Nation, a movie that’s been largely critiqued for its depiction of slavery and the racial divide in the United States.
In the film, director Nate Parker (Reeves) is a reluctant actor who becomes a blackface, a term that was also used by a white actor who plays himself.
After being made an honorary blackface by his former employer, a plantation owner, he’s forced to work on the plantations and find his way back to black.
He’s also forced to act as a surrogate father to the enslaved black children he has to look after.
His character is described as a “troublemaker” who has to make do with what he has, while others on the plantation call him a “slave”.
While many viewers may find this casting a bit offensive, many critics, including The New York Times, have criticized it as racist.
It’s also an issue that’s resurfaced in recent years, with some Hollywood studios, including Disney, attempting to make their films less racially insensitive.
In response, The Birth Of A Nation creator Nate Parker took to Twitter to speak out against the backlash, saying he wasn’t surprised at how it came out.
“I never expected a backlash to be so negative when I started the movie, and I was disappointed to see how it got to this point,” Parker wrote.
“It was a shock to see it become such a big deal.
In this day and age, the way we think about our country, the fact that it’s been under attack and misrepresented and made to look bad and have this negative connotation, is really hard to take.
But I think it’s important to remember that all of us as black men, as white men, white women, we all have this responsibility to be able to say something about this.
We can’t do it in an anonymous voice, we can’t just sit back and let it go.
We need to say our piece.
It needs to be addressed and we need to be heard.”
While many of his fellow movie directors have come forward in the past to defend the film and Parker, he says he’s still trying to “walk the line” of not going too far.
“If you’re going to be a part of something that has a negative connotations, I don’t think it should be a secret, but you have to know that,” Parker said.
“The movie was made for a very specific audience and it has to be done the right way.
There are a lot of things that can be said about it, but I think that it shouldn’t be an object of discussion and we have to be respectful of the fact it’s not a great film.”