Anthony Anderson did his best to avoid stepping out of place, regarding the Nate Parker controversy. But he did make a short statement.
On Friday, he was asked by TMZ while in his car, about the 17-year-old rape case against the lauded actor and director that’s recently been dug up, analyzed, and applied to Parker’s current work.
“I have no idea [if the rape charge will effect the film], but you know what, I think he’s a great guy and an excellent filmmaker, and a great actor. That’s what we should focus on.” When asked if he would see Parker’s Birth of a Nation, he responded, “Of course I am.”
Like Parker, Anderson was accused of rape in 2004 by a “would-be extra” on the set of Hustle & Flow. A Memphis judge dismissed rape charges against the actor, saying testimony by his accuser was some of the most “suspicious” he had ever heard.
As reported by USA Today at the time: Judge Anthony Johnson said the woman’s testimony at a preliminary hearing did not produce probable cause to let the charges stand. “This is absolutely the most suspicious case I’ve ever heard,” the judge said. Defense lawyers said the 25-year-old woman accused Anderson in hopes of getting money from him. The judge “thought this case needs to be stopped and stopped right now,” defense attorney Leslie Ballin said. The woman was seeking a job as an extra in the film Hustle & Flow when she accused Anderson and assistant director Wayne Witherspoon of attacking her in a trailer on the movie set. A rape charge also was dismissed against Witherspoon.
According to studies, false rape accusations are actually quite low at 2 to 8 percent. But that hasn’t stopped suspicion for women who press sexual assault charges.
Either way, this case clearly has everyone questioning whether or not to support Birth of a Nation.