While a majority of the conversations around the #MeToo Movement have been centered on powerful white men in Hollywood like Harvey Weinstein and white starlets like Angelina Jolie, it’s important to point out that sexual harassment affects Black people too.
Case in point, a producer and writer for The Root is speaking out, accusing John Singleton and Rev. Jesse Jackson of sexually harassing her.
According to an article Danielle Young recently wrote for The Root, she says that “Boyz n the Hood” filmmaker sexually harassed her during the American Black Film Festival this past June in Miami.
Young claims that while she was conducting an interview with Singleton in a room filled with public relations executives, he grabbed her wrist as she was removing the microphone after the interview. After Singleton pulled her in and said, “Bring that juiciness over here,” he leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek, Young recalled.
Moments later, when people in the room were taking pictures with the director, Singleton allegedly grabbed her by the waist and remarked, “Oooh, I’m gonna grab on tight to you,” after she reluctantly agreed to take a photo with him.
She said that despite smiling in the pictures, she was “cringing on the inside.”
Another woman in the room who witnessed Singleton’s actions told Young the director made similar sexual advances toward her, Young wrote. That, and he liked “big girls.”
Singleton isn’t the only person Young is accusing of inappropriate behavior.
She also wrote that three years ago at a conference, Rev. Jesse Jackson squeezed her thigh without her consent.
“I walked toward Jackson, smiling, and he smiled back at me. 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,” she wrote.
She then recalled how she reacted to her discomfort by trying to laugh it off.
“I did what most women in an uncomfortable position do: I giggled. And I continued to giggle as he pulled me in closer, stared down at my body, smiled and told me he was only kidding. The entire time, my co-worker snapped photos,” she said.
Both men were asked by The Root to provide a statement about Young’s allegations. While Singleton declined, Jackson had this to say: “Although Rev. Jackson does not recall the meeting three years ago, he profoundly and sincerely regrets any pain Ms. Young may have experienced.”