“If She Hadn’t Put Herself In That Situation…” Women Who’ve Made Excuses For Men’s Bad Behavior

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Sheryl Underwood Nate Parker



Sheryl Underwood

Though many Black women defended Nate Parker, Sheryl Underwood was most surprising, given that she’s a rape victim herself. However, on an episode of The Talk in October 2016, she questioned why Parker was being judged more harshly than other men, particularly on the cusp of his film, Birth of a Nation.

“I think this is an odd time for this to be the time that they judge this man on this. He made a movie, Beyond the Lights, where he was some cop protecting some pop singer, and this never was brought out. And now it’s being brought out when he makes the most iconic film, the most thought-provoking film for some of us that believe that Nat Turner was a revolutionary,” Underwood said.

“I also think when you talk about this, why is it that Roman Polanski can do whatever he wants to do and that was a 13-year-old child? Woody Allen? But I guess my feeling about this is, from a person who has been raped, one thing we need to take a moment to understand is the long-lasting devastating effect of rape on everyone involved. The young lady who could not move forward in her life that felt the only way to end that pain was to take her life. So when you talk about a movie that seems to artistically portray the violation of people who were considered property, then you’re talking about a political devastation, not just a sexual devastation that was supposed to motivate Nat Turner to do what he did. So for everybody in this room who does not understand, at the end of the day, his life has been changed, but he has evolved. He’s given his life to Christ. He’s become a better person. If you want to hold him to that, then you need to hold everybody else that’s done something to the exact same standard.”

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