‘Birth of a Nation’ protesters hold silent vigil in Hollywood

Los Angeles, Oct 7 (IANS) As “The Birth of a Nation” — whose actor, director, co-writer and producer Nate Parker has been in the news for his involvement in a 1999 rape case — is ready for release, the Fvck Rape Culture organisation teamed up with artists, filmmakers and women in Hollywood for a silent candlelight vigil here.

The protesters, honouring victims of rape and sexual assault, gathered at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood on Thursday night, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

The protesters gathered for a silent candlelight sit-in at the first screenings of Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation”.

Around 30 to 40 people joined in the protest, planning to quietly sit for around two hours, about the length of the film. The group, honouring victims of rape and sexual assault, was mostly women, but a few men also joined in, and some of the protesters brought their dogs with them.

“We were approached by women in Hollywood who felt this case was so complicated, and the conversation came up about how to respond in a way that respected how important this film was for people of colour,” said Remy Holwick, the founder of Fvck Rape Culture at the sit-in.

Holwick added: “We came up with a silent vigil that does nothing to condemn the makers of the film or Fox Searchlight, but does work to show that there is space for this film to both hopefully do very well and show that people of colour can do very well in Hollywood — and also honour those victims of rape and sexual assault who may have been buried in this conversation a little bit.”

For the past two months, Parker has been at the centre of controversy stemming from the rape case that involved Parker and his “Birth of a Nation” co-writer Jean Celestin.

They were accused of raping a fellow Penn State classmate. Parker, who maintained the sex was consensual, was acquitted and the woman involved with the case committed suicide in 2012.

–IANS

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