In an Ebony interview published Saturday, filmmaker Nate Parker addressed the 1999 allegation of rape made against him, noting that he "never took a moment to think about the woman" when he dismissed the allegations earlier this month by saying that he "was cleared of it [in court]. That's that."
Parker, who has been on a press tour to promote his upcoming film The Birth of A Nation, spoke to Ebony extensively about male privilege, asking if he could "go off script real quick."
The interviewer asked Parker what he knew about consent when he was 19, the age at which he was charged with rape while a student at Pennsylvania State University. Parker acknowledged that he "can’t remember ever having a conversation about the definition of consent" when he was young, and that as a 36-year-old he's still learning what consent means.
I’ll say this: at 19, if a woman said no, no meant no. If she didn’t say anything and she was open, and she was down, it was like how far can I go? If I touch her breast and she’s down for me to touch her breast, cool. If I touch her lower, and she’s down and she’s not stopping me, cool. I’m going to kiss her or whatever. It was simply if a woman said no or pushed you away that was non-consent.
Parker also added that he's talked to his daughter, who's in college, about rape culture, consent, and being careful of her surroundings. He last addressed the rape allegations in a Facebook post published August 16.
The woman who accused Parker of rape committed suicide in 2012.