“The Birth of a Nation” actress Gabrielle Union weighed in on the controversy surrounding the 17-year-old rape allegations against her co-star in the film, writer and director Nate Parker, by writing an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times Friday.
Union wrote that she “cannot take these allegations lightly,” having survived a rape herself 24 years ago.
“Rape is a wound that throbs long after it heals,” Union wrote. “And for some of us the throbbing gets too loud. Post traumatic stress syndrome is very real and chips away at the soul and sanity of so many of us who have survived sexual violence.”
Union, who plays a rape survivor in “The Birth of a Nation,” found out about Parker’s case a month ago. Parker was ultimately acquitted of sexual assault, and four years ago, his accuser committed suicide.
“Since Nate Parker’s story was revealed to me, I have found myself in a state of stomach-churning confusion,” Union wrote. “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.”