As many of you have witnessed, #TheBirthOfANation writer and director, Nate Parker has been experiencing some backlash after his past came back to haunt him for a rape scandal that happened over 17 years ago. His past has caused some people to question whether or not they should support him by going to see the film next month, but it appears as though the film has support in one of its cast members, Gabriel Union. In an Op-Ed for the LA Times, the actress opens up about a rape that she endured 24 years ago and how her survival motivated her to sign onto this film. She describes the experience as a stain “etched into [her] own history.”

She writes:

“Twenty-four years ago I was raped at gunpoint in the cold, dark backroom of the Payless shoe store where I was then working. Two years ago I signed on to a brilliant script called “The Birth of a Nation,” to play a woman who was raped. One month ago I was sent a story about Nate Parker, the very talented writer, director and star of this film…

Since Nate Parker’s story was revealed to me, I have found myself in a state of stomach-churning confusion. I took this role because I related to the experience. I also wanted to give a voice to my character, who remains silent throughout the film. In her silence, she represents countless black women who have been and continue to be violated. Women without a voice, without power. Women in general. But black women in particular. I knew I could walk out of our movie and speak to the audience about what it feels like to be a survivor.”

Union’s hope for acting in this film was that a dialogue about sexual violence would be furthered. Sexual violence has become a pandemic and no matter how uncomfortable the conversation is, it must be had in order to prevent more lives from being destroyed.

“It is my hope that we can use this as an opportunity to look within,” Union said. “To open up the conversation. To reach out to organizations which are working hard to prevent these kinds of crimes. And to support its victims. To donate time or money. To play an active role in creating a ripple that will change the ingrained misogyny that permeates our culture. And to eventually wipe the stain clean.”

If you’d like to read the entire piece, then you can head over to LATimes.com.

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Source: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-union-nate-parker-birth-nation-rape-allegation-20160902-snap-story.html