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Apple to Release Film The Banker Amid Sexual Misconduct Controversy

Apple postponed the release date of their new Apple TV+ original film The Banker amid sexual misconduct allegations. After reviewing the claims, Apple decided to release the controversial film in March.

By Chand Bellur

January 21, 2020 at 2:04 p.m. PDT

The Banker Debut Postponed Due to Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, The Banker set out to tell the story of overcoming racism in America. Instead, one of the real life subjects of the film stands accused of sexual misconduct.

As with most allegations of sexual misconduct these days, the controversy brought the project to a grinding halt. Bernard Garrett Jr., the son of the movie’s main character, is accused of sexually abusing his half sister and younger sister in their youth. This prompted Apple to withdraw the project from the American Film Institute’s 2019 festival. Apple also cancelled its December 6, 2019 theatrical debut.

Apple to Release The Banker in March 2020

The decision to release The Banker may have been inevitable. Apple invested $11 million in the project, which is spare change. It’s hard to imagine that their decision was based solely on profits. Although Apple TV+ is a new streaming platform, desperate for content, Apple has enough cash to write The Banker off as a loss.

Apple executives feel that the film tells a compelling story about overcoming racial prejudice in America. The person who stands accused of sexual misconduct is the son of the real-life protagonist. In the film, Garrett’s son plays a minor role. Perhaps if the story centered around Garrett’s son, calls to shelve the film would be affirmed.

Although Garrett’s son is not prominently featured in the film, he was credited as co-producer. Apple removed his name from the film and cut him out of any earnings.

Apple issued the following statement on Thursday:

“We wanted to take the time to understand the situation at hand. After reviewing the information available to us, including documentation of the filmmakers’ research, we’ve decided to make this important and enlightening film available to viewers.”

The Banker is set to debut in theaters on March 6, 2020. Apple TV+ subscribers can view the film on March 20.


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