Apple's 'The Banker' crew and actors, including Samuel L. Jackson, defended the movie after its real-life subject's son was accused of sexual abuse
- Filmmakers, actors, and crew members behind Apple's "The Banker" issued a statement on Monday defending the movie.
- "We stand by the film, and its positive message of empowerment," the statement said.
- Bernard Garrett Jr. - a coproducer on the movie and the son of Garrett Sr., who is played by Anthony Mackie - was accused by his half sisters of molesting them when they were young, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
- The movie's theatrical release has been postponed and its debut on Apple TV Plus is in doubt.
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Some filmmakers and actors behind "The Banker," Apple's first major movie, issued a statement on Monday defending it after sexual abuse allegations against one of the movie's producers, who is also the son of its real-life subject.
Apple abruptly canceled the AFI Fest premiere of the movie last month after learning of the allegations.The statement was signed by director George Nolfi, stars Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, and more, including producers, writers, and crew members.
Here it is:
"We set out to tell a story we were very passionate about, recounting the remarkable lives of Bernard Garrett Sr and Joe Morris, and their ground-breaking achievements combating racial inequality in the 1950s and 60s. Though we have no way of knowing what may have transpired between Mr. Garrett's children in the 1970s, including the allegations of abuse we have recently been made aware of, our hearts go out to anyone who has suffered. The film itself is not based on the recollections of any of Bernard Garrett Sr's children, but rather, on recorded interviews with Bernard Garrett Sr himself, conducted in 1995, supported by congressional transcripts, court rulings, and other media articles from the era. We stand by the film, and its positive message of empowerment."
Bernard Garrett Jr. - a coproducer on the movie and the son of Garrett Sr., who is played by Mackie in "The Banker" - was accused by his half sisters of molesting them when they were young, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Garrett Jr. issued a statement to Deadline last week denying the accusations, saying the alleged molestation "simply never happened."
Apple has said it will "look into these matters."
"We purchased 'The Banker' earlier this year as we were moved by the film's entertaining and educational story about social change and financial literacy," Apple said in a statement after canceling the premiere. "Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention. We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps. In light of this, we are no longer premiering 'The Banker' at AFI Fest."The movie was scheduled to hit theaters this week, but has been postponed. Its eventual debut on Apple's new streaming service, Apple TV Plus, is also in doubt as Apple investigates the accusations, Deadline first reported.