Jesse Jackson wants a formal sit-down with the executives at A&E over the comments made by Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Jackson compared Robertson’s recent comments about African Americans, gay people and women to comments made by the driver of Rosa Parks’ bus, in a statement issued Tuesday, the Tribune reports.
“At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law,” he said in the release. “Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’ “
Jackson’s human rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, has also demanded meetings with Cracker Barrel regarding the company’s treatment of Robertson. Cracker Barrel initially announced that they were suspending sales of Duck Dynasty merchandise following the controversy but then reversed that decision 48 hours later.
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition, GLAAD and the National Organization for Women have urged A&E to keep Robertson on an indefinite hiatus from the show. The groups hope to schedule meetings with both A&E and Cracker Barrel in the next few days.
“It is unacceptable that a personality who has been given such a large platform would benefit from racist and anti-gay comments,” the group leaders state in the release and the Tribune reports.
Read more at Chicago Tribune.