Family again asks Apple TV+ movie 'The Banker' not see release
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Former wives of the man portrayed in the Apple TV+ film "The Banker" are calling for it to be pulled indefinitely, and are calling the movie a "manipulated narrative" that was "stolen and distorted."
The drama surrounding the Apple TV+ movie starts in November, after Bernard Garrett Jr., son of the man portrayed in the movie and co-producer, was accused of sexual abuse. These allegations were raised a day before the movie was set to premier at AFI Fest, which Apple immediately postponed release until further investigation could be made.
A decision was reached at the end of January that Apple was going to release the movie with Garrett Jr. removed from the credits and ensured he would not benefit from any profits generated by the movie. This decision was reached based on the fact that the entirety of the film takes place before the portrayed Garrett Sr. married or had children. The events surrounding the children and sexual misconduct took place outside of the narrative, and Apple executives feel that the movie tells a story of empowerment and bravery and should be released.
After this decision was made public, two former wives of Bernard Garrett Sr. again stepped forward to ask Apple to reconsider releasing the movie, as detailed by The Hollywood Reporter. Linda Garrett and Kathy Ussery Garrett are not depicted in the film nor involved in its production, and now claim the movie is inaccurate and should be shelved.
"The story was stolen and distorted," said Linda Garrett's attorney, "it has been hurtful to the family. They have manipulated the narrative."
'The Banker' follows Garrett Sr. And Joe Morris, portrayed by Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson, who lead a real estate business by hiring a white man to act as the "face" of the business. Apple purchased the rights to the film for $20 million and had no involvement in its production.
As a result of the further pressure from the former wives, Apple has added a disclaimer to the opening of the film, declaring it to be "based on true events" rather than an exact portrayal.
"Though we have no way of knowing what may have transpired between Mr. Garrett's children in the 1970's, including the allegations of abuse we have recently been made aware of, our hearts go out to any who has suffered," said the filmmakers in an official statement in December,"The film itself is not based on the recollections of any of Bernard Garrett Sr.'s children, but rather on recorded interviews with Bernard Garrett Sr. himself. We stand by the film and its positive message of empowerment."
The statement was signed by 54 people, including writers, department heads, and producers.
Apple expanded on this message in their own statement.
"We created Apple TV+ as a home for stories that matter," Apple said, "[We] believe The Banker, inspired by the brave actions of Bernard Garrett Sr. and Joe Morris, two African-American businessmen who brought about positive social change, is one of those stories."
The Banker is set to premier on March 6 in theaters. A theatrical release will be followed by its Apple TV+ release on March 20th.
Apple TV+ is available for $4.99 a month and use it with family sharing. The app is available across Apple devices and a selection of smart TVs and set top boxes.