In the piece, published in the Los Angeles Times, the actress begins by saying that she was raped more than 20 years ago. Union, who plays a woman who is raped in Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, also wants it to be understood that the importance of the film does not outweigh the seriousness of the allegations.
“Twenty-four years ago I was raped at gunpoint in the cold, dark backroom of the Payless shoe store where I was then working,” she begins. “Two years ago I signed on to a brilliant script called The Birth of a Nation, to play a woman who was raped. One month ago I was sent a story about Nate Parker, the very talented writer, director and star of this film.”
“As important and ground-breaking as this film is, I cannot take these allegations lightly. On that night, 17-odd years ago, did Nate have his date’s consent? It’s very possible he thought he did,” she writes before adding, “That’s why education on this issue is so vital.”
It was recently revealed that the woman who accused Parker of rape in college committed suicide in 2012. Though the case went to trial, Parker was acquitted in 2001.
Read the article in full here.