Apple has canceled the premiere of “The Banker” in light of sexual abuse allegations involving the family of the real-life subject of the movie.
“The Banker,” which stars Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson and Nicholas Hoult, tells the true story of Bernard Garrett Sr. (Mackie), an African-American man who built a banking empire in the 1950s and 60s after using Matt Steiner (Hoult), a white man, as the face of the company.
The film was set to premiere on Apple TV+ but was pulled after sexual abuse allegations were made against Garrett’s real-life son, Bernard Jr.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Wednesday, reporting that half-sisters Cynthia and Sheila Garrett were allegedly sexually abused by their half-brother Bernard Jr. in the 1970s.
According to THR, Cynthia contacted Apple to reveal that Bernard Jr. abused her and sister Sheila over the course of several years without their father’s knowledge. The abuse began shortly after Garrett Sr. returned home after a stint in prison and invited his son to live with his half-sisters.
In addressing the allegations, Apple did not comment on the specifics of Cynthia’s claims — instead opting for a more vague response as they further investigate.
“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,” Apple said. “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.”
Bernard Jr. initially worked as a producer on the film before stepping down in light of the allegations. He has since been removed from all publicity materials for the film and further promotional appearances have been canceled on his end.
“The Banker” was set to premiere at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles and was meant to be a flagship release for Apple’s new streaming service.