What you need to know
- The wives of Bernard Garrett Sr. have asked Apple to shelve 'The Banker'.
- Apple had just announced on Thursday that the film will be released in March.
- Garrett's former wives say that the film is inaccurate and has caused harm to their family.
Apple had just announced on Thursday that their original film 'The Banker', which has been delayed since November due to an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against one of the film's co-producers, was finally set to premiere in theaters and Apple TV+ in March. Now, two wives of the late Bernard Garrett, subject of 'The Banker', are asking for Apple to suspend the film's release indefinitely.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Linda Garrett and Kathy Ussery Garrett, former wives of Bernard Garrett Sr., say that the film is inaccurate and should not see a release. Todd Burns, Linda Garrett's attorney, told the Hollywood Reporter that the film distorts the truth and has caused harm to the Garrett family.
"The story was stolen and distorted and it has been hurtful to the family. They have manipulated the narrative."
After Apple had originally canceled the release of the film after learning of the allegations against Bernard Garrett Jr., who was credited as a co-producer of the film, the company announced on Thursday that they had concluded their investigation and felt confident in moving forward with its release.
"We wanted to take the time to understand the situation at hand — and after reviewing the information available to us, including documentation of the filmmakers' research, we've decided to make this important and enlightening film available to viewers."
Apple has said that Bernard Garrett Jr. has had his co-producer credit removed from the film and that he will not be entitled to any profits from it either. However, Ussery Garrett, who was married to Bernard Garrett Sr. at the time of his passing, says that "Bernard Jr. has already been paid for this movie. He should not have been allowed to profit from this."
Linda Garrett penned an open letter to Apple and the film's producers that aims to prove the inaccuracies of the film and convince the company to cancel the release indefinitely. In the letter, she expresses her frustration in the fact that all of this could have been avoided in the filmmakers had contacted her about the family's story.
"If a tiny bit of interest in the truth existed none of this would have happened. I could have spared the filmmakers millions of dollars — and my daughters years more intentionally inflicted pain — over this recent rape of our identity if anyone had ever tried to find me."
Apple or the filmmakers have not responded to Linda Garrett's letter or requests for comment from The Hollywood Reporter, but the filmmakers did release a statement on Thursday expressing empathy to the family as well as continued confidence in the film's release.
"Though we have no way of knowing what may have transpired between Mr. Garrett's children in the 1970s, including the allegations of abuse we have recently been made aware of, our hearts go out to anyone who has suffered. 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, conducted in 1995, supported by congressional transcripts, court rulings, and other media articles from the era. We stand by the film and its positive message of empowerment."
'The Banker', starring Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson, Nia Long and Nicholas Hoult, is currently set to be released in theaters on March 6, 2020, and be available on Apple TV+ shortly after on March 20, 2020.