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‘The Banker’ Cast and Director Defend Film After Apple Delays Release

The cast and crew of “The Banker” are rising to the defense of the film after Apple delayed its release. The technology giant had originally planned to debut “The Banker” in the height of awards season, giving it a prime release date as it moves more aggressively into the content space. However, things changed after Cynthia Garrett, the daughter of the film’s protagonist, Bernard Garrett, accused Bernard Garrett, Jr., one of the film’s producers and her half-brother, of sexual abuse.

In a statement, the film’s director, writer, and producer George Nolfi, as well as cast members such as Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicholas Hoult, Nia Long, and other key talent say they stand by the film and “its positive message of empowerment.” While expressing sympathy for Cynthia Garrett, they note that the film is not based on the memories of Garrett’s children, but on interviews with Garrett himself, as well as transcripts, court rulings, and articles. “The Banker” tells the story of Garrett and his partner Joe Morris’s successful efforts to circumvent a racist establishment by convincing white man to be the face of their real estate and banking empire. Cynthia Garrett has said the film does not accurately portray her family’s story.

Apple originally planned to screen the film at AFI Fest, but pulled out in the wake of the controversy. It also intended to give “The Banker” a limited release beginning Dec. 6 with plans to hit the Apple TV Plus app in January. The film’s release has now been delayed.

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Below is the full text of the letter:

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
GregAlan 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

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