Apple abruptly cancelled the premiere of new movie The Banker following claims of sexual assault by the son of one of the biopic's subjects, according to reports.
The tech giant turned streaming studio was due to debut the movie at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles yesterday, but pulled it citing 'concerns' about the film.
Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, it tells the story of how two black men, Joe Morris and Bernard Garrett, used a white man, Matt Steiner (played by Nicholas Hoult), as a front to form a successful property empire in 50s and 60s America.
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Apple said a statement, it said: “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.
“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.”
However, The Hollywood Reporter has said that the premiere was pulled because of emerging sexual assault claims against Bernard Garrett Jr, the son of Anthony Mackie’s character in the film.
According to the report, Garrett Jr's two younger half sisters, Cynthia and Sheila Garrett, have claimed that he molested them over several years in the early 70s, after he moved into their family home in California following his father's second marriage to their mother, Linda.
Garrett, who runs her own ministry, speaking around the world on matters of faith and overcoming abuse, has previously claimed that she suffered sexual abuse in a 2016 book, and contacted Apple through her lawyers requesting the movie be shelved.
It's said that Apple were unaware of any of the allegation against Garrett Jr, who recently stepped down as one as one of the movie's producers and has disappeared from the film's publicity tour and materials, until a week ago.
The movie was reportedly set to be the subject of an awards season push, and was due for theatrical release in December before streaming on Apple's new streaming platform, Apple TV+.
Garrett has also said that the film alters the real-life timeline, featuring Garrett Sr's first wife, despite the couple having divorced by the time of the events in the movie.