Aug 24, 2016 01:01 PM EST

AFI Pulls Birth of a Nation Screening Amidst Parker Controversy

AFI Pulls Birth of a Nation Screening Amidst Parker Controversy
The American Film Institute was going to hold a screening of  "Birth of a Nation" this coming Friday with a Nate Parker answering questions afterward, but in light of recent events surrounding Nate Parker's 1999 rape case, the event has been canceled. 

AFI dean Jan Schuette made the announcement saying, "I have been the recipient of many different passionate points of view about the screening, and I believe it is essential that we discuss these issues together - messenger and message, gender, race and more - before we see the film. Next week, we will be scheduling a special moderated discussion so we may explore these issues together as artists and audience."

In 1999, Parker, along with friend Jean Celestin, were charged with raping and 18 year old girl, who claimed she was assaulted after she was drunk and unconscious.  Parker was acquitted of the charges, but Clestin was found guilty of sexual assault.  

The victim committed suicide in 2012, but the news of her death only became public last week.  Parker took to Facebook and said, "I can't help but think of all the implications this has for her family.I cannot, nor do I want to, ignore the pain she endured during and following our trial."

AFI will hold a screening of Paramount's "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" instead. 
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