For me, it was a mix of two things: the casualness of his advances and the way no one in the room reacted. I normalized it and made myself believe it was no big deal. Singleton was just being a man. Also, it’s John Singleton! One of the perks of my job is that I get to meet people I’ve looked up to my entire life. I am a young black woman from North Carolina. When I decided I wanted to be a journalist, I had no idea the job would lead me into places and spaces where I’d connect with people I’ve personally celebrated.

My family and I watched Singleton’s films, and I never dreamed of meeting him, much less talking to him. It’s never lost on me that I get to be in the same room with people I love and respect. Despite the disappointing feeling of the circumstances of meeting him, I can’t deny the excitement and what it means to me to share that with the people who watch and support my journey.

After Singleton and his crew left the room, I turned to a woman working for the festival and I said, “Did you see that?”

She said, “Yeah, girl. 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.”

The woman’s admission was so pedestrian, I was convinced she was simply reacting the same way many women do to unwanted sexual attention—she ignored it. I tried to ignore it, but I felt weird.

I left the room and then another journalist asked me about the interview, I told her about the arm pull, the “juiciness” and the kiss, and she said, “Girl, he’s worth $50 million! You should pursue that!”

I couldn’t believe she was telling me to ignore my better judgment and my skin-crawling to make a man who doesn’t respect boundaries my sugar daddy. I felt like I should never have said anything.

I reached out again to the woman who worked for the festival to see how much more she remembered from that day, and she immediately responded, “Yes, I remember. I actually sent the story to my fiance. Hold on, let me screenshot it for you.” (Black women always have receipts!) See the screenshot below:

The woman also added, “In my pic, he legit was rubbing his face on mine. I pushed it so far out of my mind because harassment is so normal. How can we remember every time a man treats us like a sexual object versus a colleague?”

The woman remembered when he pulled me in by my waist for our selfie and said, “It was noticeably sexual. He grabbed you by the waist.”

Ever since I was a little girl, I was warned about dirty old men, but not in a way that held them responsible—it was often in a way that made sure I steered clear or that I dressed and behaved appropriately enough so as not to attract their attention. This was embedded in my brain and how I behaved throughout my life. So when the unwanted sexual attention came, and it always did, I blamed myself.

But no woman should do that. I shouldn’t do that. It’s not my fault if a man wants to turn a professional environment into a playground of flirting, grabbing and sexual talk. I didn’t ask for the attention just by existing.

No one asks for the attention by just being themselves.

Editor’s note: Both the Rev. Jackson and Singleton were reached out to for comments. Singleton declined to comment, but Jackson offered the following statement via his representative: “Although Rev. Jackson does not recall the meeting three years ago, he profoundly and sincerely regrets any pain Ms. Young may have experienced.”