Apple has not publicly disclosed why it canceled the planned premiere of its film “The Banker,” but it did so less than a week after producer Bernard Garrett, who is also the son of the film’s subject (portrayed by Anthony Mackie), was publicly accused of sexual assault by one of his half-sisters.
And on Wednesday night, the Hollywood Reporter reported that Garrett had been accused of sexual assault by both of his half-sisters.
“The Banker” was originally scheduled to premiere as the closing film of the 2019 AFI Festival in Los Angeles, but the screening was abruptly canceled Wednesday afternoon. Apple did not disclose the reason for doing so, saying in a statement only that “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. In light of this, we are no longer premiering ‘The Banker’ at AFI Fest.”
But the move came just five days after Garrett Jr.’s half-sister, Cynthia Garrett, tweeted that the film “LIES TO HIDE THE PRODUCER WHO SEXUALLY MOLESTED MY SISTER AND I FOR YEARS THEN STOLE MY MOMS LIFE STORY WITH OUR DAD.” And according to THR, Cynthia and her sister, Sheila Garrett, told Apple approximately a week ago that Garrett Jr. molested them over a period of several years in the early 1970s, when they were little girls.
The sisters spoke to THR, and said that the film misrepresented the timeline of real-life events so that they and their mother were left out of the story entirely. “This entire project is poisoned. It’s the fruit of crime, lies and deception,” Cynthia Garret told THR.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap. Cynthia Garrett also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Romulus Entertainment, which co-produced the film, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Attempts to contact Bernard Garrett Jr. were unsuccessful.
The drama starring Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson is based on the true story of two real estate investors and businessmen, Bernard Garrett (Mackie) and Joe Morris (Jackson), who managed to buy banks and homes in all-white neighborhoods and loan it back to black people looking to find their own American dream in a still segregated world that made that dream difficult. Nicholas Hoult co-stars in the film as the white man the duo hired to be their stand-in for business deals with white bankers.
George Nolfi directs the drama written by Niceole Levy, Nolfi, David Lewis Smith and Stan Younger from a story by David Lewis Smith, Stan Younger and Brad Caleb Kane.