Nate Parker On Additional Criticism Of His Interracial Marriage: “I Love My Wife But I Love Ya’ll, Too”
For the past few weeks, Nate Parker has been fielding questions from people about the rape charge he obtained while a student at Penn State in 1999, but was later acquitted of. As more information from that case came out, including transcripts from a conversation Parker had with the accuser, as well as reports that Parker and co-defendant and friend Jean Celestin harassed her and showed her picture to students around campus, people’s view on the actor/writer/director shifted greatly. It’s raised questions for many of whether or not they would feel comfortable enough to see The Birth of a Nation, which does have a rape scene in it, and if they would be able to separate Parker’s transgressions from a film about Nat Turner.
But the controversy has also raised questions about Parker’s choice to marry Sarah DiSanto, who is not Black. They’ve been together for nine years and raise four children together. His marriage was something folks were very vocal about on social media recently. Messages included everything from “Wait. Nate Parker said he tryna preserve the black man? Ain’t his wife white? Lmao. He corny. Ima bootleg his movie smh,” to “So Nate Parker is “woke,” homophobic, and married to a white woman. He’s a hotep’s wet dream.”
While speaking after a screening of The Birth of a Nation at The Merge Summit in Hollywood this week, Parker responded to that particular criticism in a conversation with interviewer Jawn Murray.
“My wife is not African American,” Parker said. “I met my wife in college when I was 18 or 19. Nineteen? When I was 19. I fell in love with her. We’ve been together off and on since then. We got married nine years ago, August 10.”
Parker continued, noting that while his wife isn’t Black, she cares about the community and is, of course, raising Black children.
“She’s the love of my life. She’s not of African descent but she reads the books that I give her. She knows that she’s raising Black kids. I say that to say that I know I came under criticism for that and not that I have to speak to it. But I want everyone that can hear my voice to know that I love my wife but I love ya’ll, too.”
You can check out his thoughts for yourself below.
In this clip from our exclusive Q&A following the recent backlash from his response to the college rape case he was acquitted from, @TheBirthOfaNation star Nate Parker addresses the additional criticism he received for being in an interracial marriage. I hosted a "The Birth of a Nation" screening and conducted the Q&A with Nate as part of @TheMergeSummit in Hollywood. (Q&A video link in bio) @origi_nate #TheBirthOfANation #NateParker #TheMergeSummit2016 #Hollywood #WorkFlow #TheMergeSummit #interracial
You can also check out the full Q&A here: