Is The Sundance Winner Homophobic?

Nate Parker (pictured) just won the top prizes at the Sundance Film Festival for “Birth of a Nation,” about the Nat Turner slave uprising. Anytime you raise your public profile you invite scrutiny. It turns out that in the recent past Parker gave an interview in which he said that, in an effort to “preserve the black man,” he would, among many things, never play a gay character. Parker criticized Hollywood for feminizing black men. He said that Hollywood offers black men roles consisting of “men with questionable sexuality.” These are the kind of statements that lead to massive misunderstandings. Actors need to feel empowered to play all sorts of characters, and I’d hate to think that someone as gifted as Parker is contributing to a climate in which actors should feel ashamed for wanting to do completely honorable things. I hope a thoughtful journalist will ask Parker about this thoughts on this matter soon.

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