Journalist and producer Danielle Young has come forward to accuse 76-year-old Jesse Jackson of sexual harassment.
The media maven admits she was hesitant to say anything because she wasn’t even sure if what she experienced qualified as harassment, but after further thought, realized that unwanted touching in any way is problematic, including when a civil rights leader chooses to reach out and squeeze a stranger’s thighs.
“I used to work for a very popular media company, and we had a meeting that ended with a keynote speech by the living legend, the Rev. Jesse Jackson,” Young shared with The Root. “After Jackson’s riveting and inspiring speech about the responsibility of black journalists, we all lined up to take a photo with him. His eyes scanned my entire body. All of a sudden, I felt naked in my sweater and jeans.”
She continued, “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.”
Instead of confronting Jackson, Young did what so many women do in these kinds of situations: laughed it off.
A worker of Young’s later told the writer that the former U.S. Representative is known for such antics, telling her, “I remember him being inappropriate with all the women. And I also remember you telling me that he did something more with you. And then we brushed the sh*t off and chalked it up to him just being a dirty old man.”
Young was inspired to come forward by the many women who have called out disgraced Hollywood honcho Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment and rape by several industry insiders.
What's Your Reaction?
Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.