A right-wing street artist has started posting photoshopped versions of the Birth of a Nation poster around Los Angeles, removing the film’s title and replacing it with the word "rapist" below star and director Nate Parker's image. Sabo, who described himself to LA Weekly last December as a Republican "political artist who happens to put shit up on the street," started plastering the altered posters across the city early Wednesday morning.
Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter Wednesday morning, Sabo said the film's original poster "offended" him. "With the country as divided as it is, I can only imagine how many people are going to lose their lives after this movie comes out," he told THR. "I can only imagine how many white people are going to get beat up just for being white."
Sabo's posters have started popping up at bus stops and on street poles across West Los Angeles, with a few reportedly just "a stone's throw" away from major film and TV production studios. According to Unsavoryagents.com, a site LA Weekly says is affiliated with Sabo, the artist believes "the Right has a great message." Gawker notes that Sabo also has a history of racist remarks including the use of the N-word. Furthermore, former GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz publicly disavowed Sabo by pulling merchandise he had designed in the wake of criticism.
Parker's promo ahead of the release of The Birth of a Nation has inspired renewed interest in a 1999 Pennsylvania State University rape case, a controversial case in which Parker was ultimately acquitted. Parker's creative partner, Jean Celestin, was initially convicted but later had the case overturned by way of appeal.
"I myself just learned that the young woman ended her own life several years ago and I am filled with profound sorrow," Parker wrote on Facebook Tuesday, following the revelation that the woman had committed suicide. "I can't tell you how hard it is to hear this news. I can't help but think of all the implications this has for her family."