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Gabrielle Union Says She and Other Female Stars of ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Got ‘Thrown Out’ with Nate Parker

Meanwhile, she says, Lena Dunham and others benefit from "white girl privilege."

Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union


A few months later, “The Birth of a Nation” doesn’t appear to have been the success many were predicting throughout the year. Gabrielle Union, who has a nonspeaking role in Nate Parker’s film, says in a new Harper’s Bazaar interview that she feels as though she and the other female stars “all got thrown out” along with Parker after a 1999 rape trial involving the writer/director/star became widely known over the summer.

READ MORE: ‘Birth of a Nation’ Actress Gabrielle Union Says She Can’t Take Nate Parker Allegations Lightly

Union finds this especially unfortunate, as she was hoping to use the film’s press tour as an opportunity to say “all the things that I’ve wanted to say…to the biggest audience I was ever going to get to listen to me talk about sexual assault.” Union, who is herself a rape survivor, plays a slave who gets raped in “The Birth of a Nation.”

That, she says, is a large part of why she came onboard the project in the first place: “This is something we all signed up for with this very specific goal. Black liberation. Black resistance from the perspective of a sexual-assault survivor. And we don’t even get to talk about that.”

READ MORE: ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Press Conference: Nate Parker Dodges Rape Questions as Cast Invites ‘Uncomfortable’ Conversations In Toronto

Union also points out the ways in which this sets her apart from the likes of Lena Dunham, Kate Upton and Amy Schumer, whose “white girl privilege” allows them to say “careless, insensitive and offensive things.” Read her full interview here.

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