Apple Abruptly Cancels Premiere of New Movie

Sources say company is investigating sexual abuse allegations
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2019 1:18 AM CST
Apple Calls Off Premiere of Its First Major Film
This image released by Apple TV Plus shows, from left, Nicholas Hoult, Samuel L. Jackson, and Anthony Mackie in a scene from “The Banker."   (Apple TV Plus via AP)

Apple's move into the movie business isn't off to a promising start: The company has abruptly canceled the world premiere of The Banker, which was set to debut at the American Film Institute's annual festival in Los Angeles Thursday, the Guardian reports. The film—which had a prestigious closing-night slot—was acquired in July by Apple, which plans to release it in theaters Dec. 6 before putting it on the Apple TV Plus service in January, reports the New York Times. The film, based on a true story, stars Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie as Joe Morris and Bernard Garrett, two black entrepreneurs who built a business empire in the 1950s by hiring a white man to pose as the company's frontman.

Apple said "some concerns surrounding the film were brought to our attention" last week, but did not elaborate. Sources tell the Hollywood Reporter that the premiere was pulled because of sexual abuse allegations against Bernard Garrett Jr., the son of one of the movie's subjects. His two half-sisters accuse him of abusing them over a period of years. One of them, former MTV interviewer Cynthia Garrett, says the movie's timeline was shifted to leave out her mother and the entire project is the "fruit of crime, lies, and deception." Garrett Jr.'s credit as a co-producer has been removed from the film and publicity appearances have been canceled. Apple says it needs time to "determine the best next steps." (More Apple stories.)

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