New Sexual Assault Allegations Explain Why Apple Pulled ‘The Banker’ from Its AFI Premiere

     November 21, 2019

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The Banker was all set to close out this year’s AFI Festival with its premiere, but then Apple pulled the biopic and AFI replaced it with Noah Baumbach‘s Marriage Story, which has already made its run on the festival circuit. The official response from both Apple and AFI stopped short of explaining just why they pushed pause on the premiere, except to say that some “concerns” arose that necessitated them taking a step back to reassess. Now, as THR reports, some sexual abuse allegations against the son of the film’s real-life subject explain the cancellation.

Directed by George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau, Birth of the Dragon), The Banker dramatizes the true-life story of two businessmen, Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L. Jackson), who hired a White man (Nicholas Hoult) as their stand-in to negotiate deals with bankers on their behalf. Garrett and Morris were accused of committing fraud but acted in order to lend mortgages to Black people who would have otherwise been denied such opportunities due to racial segregation before the Civil Rights era in America. But now, Garrett’s son Bernard Garrett, Jr. is the subject of an altogether different sort of allegation.

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Image via Apple

Once part of The Banker‘s publicity tour, Garrett Jr. has gone off the radar as Apple opts for damage control over new sexual assault allegations against him. His half-sisters, who are about 15 years younger than him, have made Apple aware of their claims that he sexually molested them over a period of a few years when he was living in their home. THR also reports that the sisters alleged that changes to the film’s timeline were made specifically to leave them and their mother out of the narrative, opting to include Bernard Garrett Sr.’s first wife despite the two being divorced at the time depicted in the movie.

There’s much more on the details behind these new allegations over at THR, but for now, the ball is in Apple’s court as to how they want to go ahead with the increasingly high profile pic.

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