UPDATED 11/25, 1:30 p.m. ET: Following the indefinite delay of Apple TV+ original movie The Banker, producer Bernard Garrett Jr. has released a statement denying the allegations leveled against him.
"My half-sisters Cynthia and Sheila have accused me of molesting them in the early 1970s, when I was a teenager of about 15. This simply never happened," Garrett said in a statement to Deadline. "What did happen is that I told my father when I discovered that their mother Linda was cheating on him, and they have always blamed me for the break-up that followed. What did happen is that Cynthia asked my father – twice – to give her the right to make a movie of his life story, and twice he turned her down, and instead decided to entrust those rights to me and a friend of mine."
In his statement Garrett added that he can "forgive" his half-sisters and bears them "no ill-will," and that people should "educate themselves on who Cynthia is" before coming to conclusions. "For myself, the best I could do was remove my name from the film and step away so as not to tarnish my father's legacy, as honoring him and what he stood for was all I ever wanted to do."
Apple has not commented on the situation outside of its delay.
UPDATED 11/23, 6:35 p.m. ET: The Banker has been delayed indefinitely.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Apple TV+ confirmed the decision Friday, just days after the company had scrapped the movie's Nov. 21 premiere at the AFI Film Festival. The Banker, which also marks the platform's first-ever original movie, was originally set to hit select theaters on Dec. 6 and Apple TV+ sometime in January.
See original story below.
In a statement shared with the Hollywood Reporter and others Wednesday night, an Apple rep detailed how the film landed in their control before ultimately having its rollout paused, citing "concerns" of which they were informed just last week.
"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," an Apple rep said of the film, which is based on a true story. "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."
The Banker is inspired by the true story of Bernard Garrett, a black man who enlisted a white man (portrayed by Nicholas Hoult) to pose as the face of a real estate and banking empire. In the film, Anthony Mackie portrays Garrett, while Samuel L. Jackson takes on the role of his business partner Joe Morris.
As THR reports, the half-sisters of Garrett's son—Bernard Garrett Jr.—have recently made Apple aware of their allegations that Garrett Jr. "sexually molested them over the course of a few years" starting in the early 1970s. Additionally, the sisters allege that the film's timeline was altered to keep them and their mother out, choosing instead to include a depiction of Garrett Sr.'s first wife.
Garrett Jr. has since been reported to have stepped down from his role as a producer on the film, as well as having been removed from publicity materials and previously planned appearances promoting its release.
Initial plans were to give The Banker a theatrical release starting Dec. 6 before hitting the recently launched Apple TV+ service the following month.