So, we have mutual friends (who all speak highly of him) but I’ve never met Nate. I’ve been tracking ‘Birth of a Nation’ since Sundance and I’ve been on board with every new bit of marketing that has perfectly touched the right nerves.
Then, the skeletons started re-emerging in this case, out of the closet. Am I still planning on seeing Birth in the theatre opening weekend? Yes. Am I going to be a man who tells the women in his life, “I appreciate you confiding in me, trusting me, and supporting me personally and professionally every step of the way. But having said that, you need to get over it. That happened years ago. Stop buying into the conspiracy.’
No. HELL NO.
In this specific case, it just isn’t that simple. Not for Nate certainly, not for the studio (who professionally speaking seems shockingly unprepared since they’ve been setting this film up for the awards season politics), not for those of us who just love seeing films and filmmakers of color succeed.
With all the different layers here, I’ve been especially interested in how black women have been processing this. So this Sunday, I’m cutting my time on the Soapbox short to link you to the piece Morgan Jerkins wrote in the Atlantic. It doesn’t come across as a personal vendetta against Nate or the film, but addresses a lot of the feelings that are on the table right now.