'The Banker': The Director, Cast And Crew Defend Film After Apple Postpones Release Amid Controversy

December 02 2019

The director, cast and crew members of Apple's The Banker have released a statement defending the film and standing in solidarity. Apple pulled the film from its premiere at AFI Fest and has postponed its theatrical release. The release on Apple's streaming service, Apple TV+, has not officially been delayed but is likely to be postponed as well.

Last month, Apple learned of allegations against the son of one of the film's real-life subjects, who was a co-producer on the film. Two daughters of Bernard Garrett Sr., who is portrayed by Anthony Mackie in the film, are alleging that their half-brother, Bernard Garrett, Jr., sexually abused them when they were younger. Cynthia Garrett also seems to dispute the timeline of some of the events that are depicted in the movie, as her mother (who is not shown in the film) was married to Garrett Sr. when a lot of the events took place, and not his first wife, Eunice, portrayed by Nia Long (read more on the sisters' allegations here). Garrett Jr. has denied the allegations.

Here's the official description of the film: Based on a true story, The Banker centers on revolutionary businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), who devise an audacious and risky plan to take on the racist establishment of the 1960s by helping other African Americans pursue the American dream of homeownership.  Along with Garret’s wife Eunice (Nia Long), they train a working-class white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to pose as the rich and privileged face of their burgeoning real estate and banking empire--while Garrett and Morris pose as a janitor and a chauffeur. Their success ultimately draws the attention of the federal government, which threatens everything the four have built. The drama is directed by George Nolfi and produced by Joe Viertel.

The statement, signed by its director and cast members, including Jackson, Mackie, Long and Jessie T. Usher, reads in part, “Though we have no way of knowing what may have transpired between Mr. Garrett’s children in the 1970s, including the allegations of abuse we have recently been made aware of, our hearts go out to anyone who has suffered. The film itself is not based on the recollections of any of Bernard Garrett Sr’s children, but rather, on recorded interviews with Bernard Garrett Sr. himself, conducted in 1995, supported by congressional transcripts, court rulings, and other media articles from the era. We stand by the film and its positive message of empowerment.”

Read the full statement below, as well as the members of the cast and crew who signed it:

We set out to tell a story we were very passionate about, recounting the remarkable lives of Bernard Garrett Sr. and Joe Morris, and their ground-breaking achievements combating racial inequality in the 1950s and 60s. Though we have no way of knowing what may have transpired between Mr. Garrett’s children in the 1970s, including the allegations of abuse we have recently been made aware of, our hearts go out to anyone who has suffered. The film itself is not based on the recollections of any of Bernard Garrett Sr.’s children, but rather, on recorded interviews with Bernard Garrett Sr. himself, conducted in 1995, supported by congressional transcripts, court rulings, and other media articles from the era. We stand by the film and its positive message of empowerment.

Signed by:

George Nolfi – Director, Producer, Writer

Anthony Mackie – Actor, Producer

Samuel L. Jackson – Actor, Executive Producer

Nicholas Hoult – Actor

Nia Long – Actor

Scott Daniel Johnson – Actor

Jessie T. Usher – Actor

Colm Meaney – Actor

Paul Ben-Victor – Actor

James DuMont – Actor

Gregory Alan Williams – Actor

Bill Kelly – Actor

Michael Harney – Actor

David Maldonado – Actor

Gralen Bryant Banks – Actor

Rhoda Griffis – Actor

Joel Viertel – Producer, Editor

Brad Feinstein – Producer

David Lewis Smith – Producer, Writer

Will Greenfield – Executive Producer, Unit Production Manager

Carlo Hart – Co-Producer

Stan Younger – Writer

Niceole Levy – Writer

Brad Caleb Kane – Writer

Charlotte Bruus Christensen – Director of Photography

John Collins – Production Designer

Aieisha Li – Costume Designer

H. Scott Salinas – Composer

Kim Coleman – Casting Director

Tonya Cryer – Hair Department Head

LaToya Henderson – Make-Up Department Head

Stephen Moore – 1st Assistant Director

Andi Crumbley – Art Director

Lynne Mitchell – Set Decorator

Mike Scherschel – Prop Master

Kayla Gueho – Location Manager

David Martin – Key Assistant Location Manager

Harrison Huffman – Production Supervisor

Huxley Rodriguez – Production Coordinator

Serena Simpson – Sound Mixer

Chris Birdsong – Key Grip

Jon Lewis – Gaffer

Karlyn Exantus – Script Supervisor

Meagan Lewis – Local Casting Director Atlanta

Mary Jasionowski – Production Accountant

Chuck Jean – Post-Production Supervisor

Gordon Williams – Music Supervisor

Michael Hatzer – Supervising Digital Colorist

David Christopher Smith – Sound Designer, Re-Recording Mixer

Marti Humphrey – Supervising Sound Editor, Re-Recording Mixer

Christian Wood – Visual Effects Supervisor

Chris LeDoux – Associate Visual Effects Supervisor

Cindy Rago – Visual Effects Producer

 

READ MORE:

'The Banker': Son Of Real-Life Subject Denies Sexual Abuse Claims As Apple Delays Theatrical Release

'The Banker': Apple Cancels Festival Premiere Of Its First Major Film Amid Sexual Abuse Allegations

'The Banker' Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson And Anthony Mackie Star In Film On Black Entrepreneurs For Apple TV+

 

Photo: Apple TV+

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by Shadow and Act on December 02 2019

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