Apple TV+ has revealed that they are indefinitely delaying the release of The Banker. The AFI premiere was also abruptly canceled earlier this week. The movie was supposed to be released theatrically on December 6th, but that isn't happening now due to sexual assault allegations, amongst other things, against the project's co-producer, Bernard Garrett Jr. The movie stars Anthony Mackie as Bernard Garrett, Sr., a man who launched a financial institution that gave loans to African Americans when hardly any banks in North America would do so, and who is also Garrett Jr.'s father.
Cynthia Garrett is Bernard Garrett Jr.'s half-sister and she is accusing him of molesting her and their other half-sister. Garrett Jr. is 15 years older than his half-siblings. She also claims that The Banker misrepresents her family's story. Garrett alleges her half-brother helped develop the project without any input from her or her other siblings and told the story in a way that took them and their mother Linda from the story completely. Since the claims were made, Garrett Jr.'s name has been scrubbed from the project.
Cynthia Garrett released a lengthy statement trying to set the facts straight about the true story of The Banker. "What's been done here is shocking. My dad would turn in his grave. No script was ever written 20 years ago," says Garrett, who goes on to state that Bernard Garrett Sr. wrote his story down to give to close family only. Garrett went on to note, "Instead Hollywood has partnered with our half-brother and stolen my mom's story after molesting me and my baby sister for years." Garrett has worked in Hollywood for over thirty years and tackled much of her father's story in her own book. She had this to say about the entertainment industry taking on the project.
"No regard for truth or family or sexual abuse victims being constantly abused. Every producer and star who played a part in this should be ashamed. Apple TV should be ashamed. We would have pride in my dad's story being told but we all dreamed we would share our mom and dad's truth accurately. My mom is devastated. Nia long is black. My mom's face is white. I guess Hollywood prefers the racial divide to continue rather than heal it. Something will now need to be done. We are praying Apple TV will make this right somehow."
Apple made a statement earlier this week to address The Banker controversy. "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," read the statement. However, when the allegations started to come out, the new streaming platform took pause. "We, along with the filmmakers, need some time to look into these matters and determine the best next steps."
The Banker stars Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie. The two actors have yet to comment on the situation publicly at this time. It remains to be seen if the movie will ever see the light of day with some much controversy currently surrounding it. George Nolfi directed the movie and it was acquired by Apple in July of this year as a part of its first round of original content. IndieWire was the first to report on Cynthia Garret's claims.