Above being one of the most pivotal players in the NBA during the ’80s, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has also used his platform to speak on social issues as well.
In 2012, he was even selected by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be a U.S. global cultural ambassador. Abdul-Jabbar has written several books, and has become a much-respected cultural critic when it comes topics like the Nate Parker controversy.
To offer his opinion on Parker and Birth of a Nation, which is set to hit theaters on October 7, Abdul-Jabbar wrote a review of the film for The Hollywood Reporter. The 69-year-old first delves in on Parker being tried for rape 17 years ago and if it should effect whether people see the movie.
Abdul-Jabbar compares the situation to that of Roman Polanski or Woody Allen, who both have a history of sexual misconduct, yet the films they were involved in were not affected. The retired athlete is seemingly saying the art shouldn’t be equated with the artist.
Abdul-Jabbar says that the controversy threatens to “overshadow his impressive, important and flawed film.”
The NBA champion disagrees with films about slaves being whitewashed and not showing the true pain slaves endured. But he also warns these types movies can suffer from blackwashing, by mythologizing certain characters, which is what he feels happened to Nat Turner’s character in Birth of a Nation.
Despite that, Abdul-Jabbar believes the film is a success, noting, “He captures the truth of the spirit of defiance necessary for all people to remain free. But in an attempt to romanticize Nat Turner, he overlooks what truly made him heroic and his rebellion a warning bell for the future.”
Read the rest of Abdul-Jabbar’s review of Birth of a Nation here.
1. In 2015, Miley Cyrus revealed that she identifies as sexually fluid, telling Paper magazine, “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age.”
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2. Ricky Martin shocked the world when he came out as gay in 2010. The father of two once revealed, “I know that I like both men and women, I’m against sexual labels.”
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3. After photos surfaced of her making out with Michelle Rodriguez, Cara Delevingne came clean about her bisexuality, saying, “It took me a long time to accept the idea, until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognized that I had to accept it.”
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4. Frank Ocean captivated the world with his songs about love and women. When he opened up about his experience falling in love with a guy, he garnered the attention of many more.
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5. Lady Gaga has been open about her sexuality since the beginning of her career. After naysayers claimed it was all for marketing, she said, “This is who I am and who I have always been.”
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6. After coming under fire for using the F bomb multiple times on social media, Azealia Banks defended herself, saying “I can’t be homophobic. I’m bisexual.”
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7. Amber Rose has never been shy about her sexuality. She even openly admitted to being in a relationship with a girl, way before her Kanye days.
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8. David Bowie was one of the most notable artists of all time, whose sexuality and gender bent all of the traditional rules.
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9. Mel B once revealed that she was in a four-year relationship with a woman before.
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10. In 2013, Zoe Saldana said that she “might end up with a woman raising my children. I’ve been attracted to the male species, but if one day I wake up and want to be with a woman, I will do that because it is my life, therefore it is my decision.”
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11. Megan Fox told Esquire Magazine once, “I have no question in my mind about being bisexual.”
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12. Angelina Jolie has always been open about her bisexuality. She once told OK Magazine, “I have loved women in the past and slept with them.”
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Continue reading Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Reviews ‘Birth Of A Nation,’ Calls It ‘Impressive And Flawed’
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