Apple's Real-Life Drama 'The Banker' Has Been Delayed Due To Sexual Abuse Allegations Against The Son Of One Of The Film's Lead Characters

Apple has delayed the release of its upcoming movie The Banker because of sexual assault claims against Bernard Garrett, Jr., the son of one of the film's main subjects, Bernard Garrett, Sr. This Wednesday, just one day before the film was set to premiere at this year's AFI Festival in Hollywood, the movie was pulled from the festival's schedule and replaced with Marriage Story instead because of the allegations. The Banker was originally going to hit theaters on December 6, but today Apple announced that they have delayed the release indefinitely as the company investigates the claims against Garrett Jr.

Based on a true story, The Banker tells the story of Bernard Garrett Sr. (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), two black businessmen who concocted a precarious plan to battle the racially oppressive real estate industry and help other black people achieve the American dream. They helped trained a white man, Matt Steiner (Nicholas Hoult), to be the face of their organization while Garrett and Morris posed as a janitor and a chauffeur. Eventually the government caught wind of their scheme, threatening to take down everything they've accomplished. George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) directed the film, which was picked up by Apple back in July after it was already finished.

Here's the trailer:

Cynthia and Sheila Garrett, half-sisters of Bernard Garrett Jr., both say they were sexually molested over the course of a few years in the 1970s. Garrett Jr. was listed as a co-producer on The Banker and intended to be one of the faces of the movie, appearing at industry events to represent the project. But The Hollywood Reporter says his name has been scrubbed from publicity materials since November 5, and an attorney for the production company told the outlet that Garrett Jr. has stepped down as a producer "to avoid taking attention away from his father's story."

Interestingly, it seems as if the movie's timeline has also been altered:

The sisters made the claim in connection with separate allegations that the timeline of the film was tweaked in order to leave the girls and their mother out of the story and instead feature Bernard Garrett Sr.'s first wife, even though he had already divorced her by the time of some of the events depicted in the film.

Apparently both Nolfi and Apple were blindsided by the allegations; the company had planned to give the movie a release before the end of the year to make it eligible for awards.

This shouldn't need to be said, but just in case: the idea that these women were abused is horrible, and we sympathize with them. Taking a step back and looking at this from a bird's eye view, this case is fascinating because the alleged abuser, Garrett Jr., is not the subject of the movie (and as far as I know, isn't lionized in the film in any way). These allegations are against a co-producer of the movie, and I'm wondering if other projects would experience similar fates if their co-producers were the subject of sexual assault claims. Some may look at this situation and ask if the father is being punished for the sins of his son, and wonder if that's morally just. It's a complicated topic and I certainly don't have all the answers, but at the end of the day, I'm glad the #MeToo movement is continuing and these women are coming forward to tell the world about what happened to them.