Journalist Danielle Young has come forward to say that Rev. Jesse Jackson and director John Singleton touched her inappropriately and made lewd comments to her after a meeting.
Young says that when she had her picture taken with Jackson, the reverend “scanned” her body then grabbed and squeezed her thigh, saying “I like all of that right there!”
She says she was too shocked to react, as Jackson pulled her closer.
Young, writing for The Root, says that women are taught to make excuses for grabby men, and are “supposed to laugh- act grateful, even-for the attention.”
Sexual harassment, unwanted sexual attention, grabby or flirtatious old men; we’re taught as women to make excuses for them, especially as black women. You’re supposed to be A-OK with a touch here, a squeeze there, a dirty look, or even an unwanted grab.
The New York Daily News reports:
While she was working for a media company, Jackson delivered the keynote speech at the end of a meeting. After discussing the responsibilities of black journalists in his speech, according to Young, she and her colleagues lined up to have their picture taken with Jackson.
“I walked toward Jackson, smiling, and he smiled back at me,” Young wrote. “His eyes scanned my entire body. All of a sudden, I felt naked in my sweater and jeans. As I walked within arm’s reach of him, Jackson reached out a hand and grabbed my thigh, saying, ‘I like all of that right there!’ and gave my thigh a tight squeeze.”
The reporter said she was too shocked to react and giggled uncomfortably as he “pulled me closer,” while her co-worker took photos of them. She described herself as feeling “deflated” after she was finally able to pull away from the man she once admired who “marched alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.”
Young says that woman she reached out to remembers the situation in the same way, despite her best efforts to excuse a man she’d once admired.
Young says she had a similar experience with Academy Award nominated director John Singleton. Singleton told Young he would “grab on tight to you.”
Singleton also grabbed Young, by the wrist, while making lewd comments. He puller he so forcefully, that she fell. Then, he kissed her on the cheek.
It should go without saying that Jackson and Singleton’s actions were entirely inappropriate. Moreover, they were aggressive, manipulative, and disrespectful. Singleton, along with Jackson, were obviously physically manipulating Young to their own desires, totally disregarding her feeling, her boundaries, and her dignity.
They have no excuse whatsoever.
The New York Daily News continues:
More recently, Young attended the American Black Film Festival to interview Singleton — an Academy Award-nominated director — and the cast of his show “Snowfall.” At the end of her on-camera dialogue with Singleton, Young saidshe approached him to retrieve her microphone and that he grabbed her by the wrist, drawing her nearer, and said, “Bring that juiciness over here.”
Young claims that the act of pulling her closer caused her to fall forward and brace her hands against his thighs. She wrote that he then kissed her on the cheek before she had a chance to stand back up. She then agreed to take a picture with him to not “make it awkward,” and said he clutched her around the waist and pulled her into him, saying, “Oooh, I’m gonna grab on tight to you.”
Again, Young noted that a colleague corroborated her account of the incident. “Did you see that?” she said she asked another woman in the room.
” ‘Yeah, girl,’ she said the woman replied. ‘I heard he likes big girls.’ The woman was also ‘of size,’ and told me that when she went to take a selfie with him, he kissed her on the cheek and said, ‘I love your face! It’s so soft. I want to feel your cheek on my cheek.'”
While Hollywood continues to deal with sexual harassment charges against some of the top names in the industry, it’s clear that many predators are total hypocrites who play themselves up as promoters of human rights while disregarding those rights in their day-to-day lives.