STANDING TOGETHER: Trey Songz and Nate Parker
US SINGER Trey Songz has issued a staunch defence of writer and director Nate Parker in regards to historic rape allegations, which have threatened to derail his upcoming film, Birth of a Nation.
Taking to Instagram, the R&B crooner who has been particularly vocal on a number of social issues, namely police brutality, posted an image of he and Parker in front of an American flag.
Songz wrote: “This flag behind us means many things. The shackles before us, the same. I’m very proud to be American, while there are many things wrong with my country that shame myself and my people as well as many minorities, I love my country! Our history as black people has tried to be erased by those who thought of us as less than human, @origi_nate has brought an American story to life that I am very proud of.”
Parker’s acclaimed historical biopic about Nat Turner's 1831 slave rebellion sold for a record-breaking $17.5m (£13.5m) at this year’s Sundance film festival and had been touted as a frontrunner for next year’s Oscar award ceremony.
Songz added: “Congratulations brother, they tried to slight you in so many ways and you rose above. So many films and only now do they bring up your ACQUITTAL!!! Shine in Gods light #TheBirthOfANation #NateParker #NatTurner #Virginia #BlackLivesMatter #1831 #2016”
The 31-year-old singer’s support was in reference to the controversy surrounding Parker’s involvement in a 1999 rape case.
The filmmaker was acquitted of sexually assaulting a fellow student while his then roommate Jean Celestin, who has a story credit on Birth of a Nation was convicted (later overturned) of sexual assault.
Both men insisted that the sex was consensual. It later emerged that the student in question dropped out of school and committed suicide in 2012.
Details that have since emerged including court documents and testimonies, resulting in many calling for a boycott the upcoming film.
Some fans were swift to criticise Songz for his public support of Parker, but the Jupiter Love singer maintained his position.
He said: “Why didn’t this come up before any of his other movies? I’ll tell you, to derail you from the issue at hand.”
Birth of a Nation is scheduled to arrive in US theatres on October 7.