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Apple Cancels Premiere Of Film After Son Of Man Portrayed In Film Accused Of Sexual Abuse By His Half-Sisters

The premiere for an Apple-owned film featuring iconic actor Samuel L. Jackson and “Avengers” star Anthony Mackie has been abruptly canceled after allegations against the son of the real-life person portrayed in the film, who was formerly listed as a co-producer, came to light.
The film, “The Banker,” is based on real-life events involving Bernard Garrett, an African American man who asked a white man to front his financial business in the era before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, Garrett’s son, Bernard Garrett Jr., was initially listed as a co-producer of the film and was supposed to play a key role in the promotion of the movie.
Now, Garrett Jr.’s name has been dropped from promo materials and Apple has decided to cancel the Thursday night premiere of the film amid allegations of sexual abuse brought against Garrett Jr. by his younger half-sisters.
“Garrett Jr.’s half-sisters [Cynthia and Sheila Garrett], roughly 15 years his junior, have recently made Apple aware of their claim that when he was a young man living in their home, he sexually molested them over the course of a few years,” THR reports. The sisters have also criticized the film for shifting the timeline to erase them and their mother from the real-world events the film is supposed to be depicting. THR reports:
Cynthia Garrett, formerly an interviewer on MTV and VH1 who has since founded Cynthia Garrett Ministries and has spoken publicly to groups worldwide, sometimes recounting her years of alleged sexual abuse, says she is hoping that Hollywood rallies around her cause in the midst of the #MeToo movement. She also says that the shift of the timeline in the film is no small matter. “This entire project is poisoned. It’s the fruit of crime, lies and deception,” she writes in an open letter that she says she plans to publish online. The rep for producers counters that the film is based on the Garrett Sr. interviews and other materials to which it obtained legal rights.
The sisters allege that their half-brother, the son of Bernard and Eunice Garrett, began to abuse them in the early 1970s. After a decade of keeping silent about the alleged abuse, the sisters finally confided in each other and their mother, Linda, in the early 1980s. Their mother has confirmed that the girls spoke with her at the time about their allegations. When they finally revealed the information to their father a few years later, they say he largely swept it under the rug.
In apparent response to learning of the women’s allegations, Apple issued a statement Wednesday announcing that because of “concerns surrounding the film,” its scheduled Thursday premiere has been cancelled and the company is looking into the issue to “determine the best next steps.”
“We purchased The Banker earlier this year as we were moved by the film’s entertaining and educational story about social change and financial literacy,” Apple said Wednesday in a statement reported by THR. “Last week some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention. We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps.”
THR’s sources say both Apple and the filmmakers only learned of the allegations about a week ago and the producers have been in contact with Cynthia about reviewing it since. An attorney for one of the producers told the paper that Garrett Jr. stepped down recently from his producer role in order to avoid distraction from the film about his father.

The Hollywood Reporter stresses that Apple has “a lot riding” on the film. Apple purchased the film in the summer after it was completed and plans to release it in early December in part to give it a shot for award recognition. The film will also debut on Apple’s new streaming service, Apple TV+.

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