Armie Hammer has slammed how Nate Parker was banished to ‘director’s jail’ over a historical rape allegation last year, which obliterated his movie The Birth Of A Nation, while Casey Affleck went on to win an Oscar.
Affleck was accused of sexual harassment by two women in 2010, but still walked away with a gong for his role in Manchester By The Sea.
“I’m not saying Nate should not have been in trouble. I’m saying that they got in different levels of trouble,” Hammer, who starred in The Birth Of A Nation, told The Hollywood Reporter.
“And that’s the disparity. It’s like there are two standards for how to deal with someone who has this kind of issue in their past, you know?”
Details of a 1999 rape charge against Parker and his college roommate surfaced during the publicity campaign for his biopic of slave era rebellion leader Nat Turner, which was the subject of a fierce bidding war when it debuted at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Parker was acquitted, but his roommate was convicted of sexual assault, while it was also alleged that the two men harassed and victimised the woman involved after she pressed charges.
It also emerged that their accuser later took her own life.
Many tipped the movie for Oscar glory, but once the controversy around Parker became public knowlegde, it effectively ended such hopes, and it later tanked at the box office too.
By contrast, Manchester By The Sea scored six Oscar nominations, winning Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor for Affleck, despite the allegations levelled at him.
Hammer has claimed that the timing of the headlines ‘was orchestrated for sure’.
“There was another person in the industry, who had a competing film for the Academy Awards, who decided to release all of the phone records and information. I’ve been told who did it — by several people,” he continued to THR.
“Nate had the stuff in his past, which is heinous and tough to get beyond. I get that. But that was when he was 18, and now he’s in directors jail. At the same time, the guy who went and won an Academy Award has three cases of sexual assault against him.”
Asked if he meant Casey Affleck, Hammer says ‘yeah’.
“And [Parker] had one incident — which was heinous and atrocious — but his entire life is affected in the worst possible way. And the other guy won the highest award you can get as an actor. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Affleck was sued by the cinematographer and one of the producers of the mockumentary he directed, I’m Still Here, over allegations of harassment and abusive behaviour.
The lawsuits were later settled out of court.
Speaking after his Oscar win in 2017, he said: “I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else.”