Rape Activists Will Hold Protest Vigil At Birth Of A Nation Premiere

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Anti-sexual assault activists Fvck Rape Culture will hold a silent candlelight vigil at the premiere of The Birth of a Nation this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Arclight Hollywood, Variety reports. Director Nate Parker has been dogged controversy since a 1999 rape allegation came to light. The charges were dropped and Parker's accuser subsequently took her own life. Fvck Rape Culture says that their reasons for the protest are complex. “FRC recognizes the need to hold space for those celebrating the advancement of people of color in Hollywood while continuing to fight for the victims of sexual assault and rape around the world,” the organization wrote in a statement. Parker has alternated between contrition and defiance in regards to his allegations. He's blamed the media, said he's changed since he was 19, and flatly refused to apologize. Elyse Cizek, the event organizer who is a woman of color that writes, models, and has survived rape told Variety that she wanted to call attention to how survivors were used in media but silenced in reality. “I chose to be a part of a demonstration because as a survivor I wish for space to be held for myself and others who have been left voiceless in an industry that has the power to create change but refuses to listen to the needs of those whom they have silenced. We are a huge part of their audience and are continuously victimized and shamed for the crimes committed against us, yet too often used as accessories and plot points for those who seek to gain from our experiences in spite of us. I personally am saddened not only for my own experiences but for those who were directly affected by the actions of both Nate Parker and those seeking to glorify him despite his negligence in addressing the issue of rape culture while simultaneously perpetuating it.”

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