‘The Banker’ cast, director respond to Apple delaying film’s release amid abuse allegations

The Banker director/screenwriter George Nolfi, actors Samuel L. Jackson and Anthony Mackie, and 50 other cast and crew members signed a joint statement.

Nick Romano, Entertainment Weekly:

The cast and crew of The Banker broke their silence this week over the abuse allegations that prompted Apple TV+ to delay the film’s release.

Starring Samuel L. Jackson as Joe Morris and Anthony Mackie as Bernard Garrett, The Banker chronicles the efforts of these businessmen in the 1960s to support African Americans in pursuit of their own American dream. At the end of November, Cynthia and Sheila Garrett came forward with sexual abuse allegations against their half-brother Bernard Garrett Jr., the son of the film’s subject and a co-producer on The Banker. They claimed he molested them for years when they were children. Garrett Jr. denied the allegations in an earlier statement to Deadline, but his name has since been scrubbed from the film’s credits.

On Monday, director/screenwriter George Nolfi, Jackson, Mackie, and 50 other individuals across the production signed a joint statement “from the filmmakers” that addressed the situation… After the allegations were initially made, Apple TV+ removed The Banker, its first planned theatrical release, from the AFI Fest one day before its scheduled screening. It was eventually pushed from its Dec. 6 release slot in theaters for a still-undetermined future premiere.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s the film’s official trailer:

The full text of the statement below:

We set out to tell a story we were very passionate about, recounting the remarkable lives of Bernard Garrett Sr and Joe Morris, and their ground-breaking achievements combating racial inequality in the 1950s and 60s. 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.

Signed by:

George Nolfi – Director, Producer, Writer

Anthony Mackie – Actor, Producer

Samuel L. Jackson – Actor, Executive Producer

Nicholas Hoult – Actor

Nia Long – Actor

Scott Daniel Johnson – Actor

Jessie T. Usher – Actor

Colm Meaney – Actor

Paul Ben-Victor – Actor

James DuMont – Actor

GregAlan Williams – Actor

Bill Kelly – Actor

Michael Harney – Actor

David Maldonado – Actor

Gralen Bryant Banks – Actor

Rhoda Griffis – Actor

Joel Viertel – Producer, Editor

Brad Feinstein – Producer

David Lewis Smith – Producer, Writer

Will Greenfield – Executive Producer, Unit Production Manager

Carlo Hart – Co-Producer

Stan Younger – Writer

Niceole Levy – Writer

Brad Caleb Kane – Writer

Charlotte Bruus Christensen – Director of Photography

John Collins – Production Designer

Aieisha Li – Costume Designer

H. Scott Salinas – Composer

Kim Coleman – Casting Director

Tonya Cryer – Hair Department Head

LaToya Henderson – Make-Up Department Head

Stephen Moore – 1st Assistant Director

Andi Crumbley – Art Director

Lynne Mitchell – Set Decorator

Mike Scherschel – Prop Master

Kayla Gueho – Location Manager

David Martin – Key Assistant Location Manager

Harrison Huffman – Production Supervisor

Huxley Rodriguez – Production Coordinator

Serena Simpson – Sound Mixer

Chris Birdsong – Key Grip

Jon Lewis – Gaffer

Karlyn Exantus – Script Supervisor

Meagan Lewis – Local Casting Director Atlanta

Mary Jasionowski – Production Accountant

Chuck Jean – Post-Production Supervisor

Gordon Williams – Music Supervisor

Michael Hatzer – Supervising Digital Colorist

David Christopher Smith – Sound Designer, Re-Recording Mixer

Marti Humphrey – Supervising Sound Editor, Re-Recording Mixer

Christian Wood – Visual Effects Supervisor

Chris LeDoux – Associate Visual Effects Supervisor

Cindy Rago – Visual Effects Producer


  1. This is a fantastic film. I truly hope for all involved that the 19 years+ it took to get it made doesn’t got to waste because of this. They (IMO) are separate issues. Lots of innocent people will be damaged and a super film will be missed. I am 100% not involved with this film or anyone in/part of it. It’s just really good and deserves to be seen.

  2. Pulling its official release was the right thing to do.

    But, if the film’s content indeed has little or no narrative from the accused co-producer, then the film should be released at some point, after appropriate revisions are made to his contract to ensure that he gets no further money from the proceeds of this theatrical release or anything else related to the film. Scrubbing his name from the credits is probably the first step in doing this.

    1. There is nothing wrong with taking a few weeks to look into the allegations and gain a better understanding their implications with respect to the film. Based on the summary provided above, however, I strongly suspect that this movie will be released as soon as the legal/financial aspects are addressed with respect to scrubbing the credits and such.

      If Apple had not paused to review the allegations, then it would have been criticized for plowing ahead. Apple is always under intense scrutiny and it often seems to be a no-win situation for the company. But I think that Apple is taking a prudent course of action in this case.

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