AFI postpones ‘The Birth of a Nation’ screening, Parker Q&A

FILE PHOTO Actor Nate Parker arrives at the premiere of the film "The Great Debaters" in Los Angeles Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2007.Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian, AP Photo

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The American Film Institute has canceled plans to screen writer-director Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” for students this week amid controversies surrounding a 17-year-old rape accusation against Parker and his co-writer.

The school planned to show the film and host a Q&A with Parker for its fellows, but late Tuesday, AFI dean Jan Schuette sent a note to students saying they would postpone until later in the year.

It would have marked the first time Parker has appeared in public since the case resurfaced nearly two weeks ago. Parker was acquitted.

Schuette said the school plans to hold a moderated discussion to explore issues of “messenger and message, gender, race and more.”

Fox Searchlight still plans to release “The Birth of a Nation” on Oct. 7.


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