Civil rights activist and Baptist minister Jesse Jackson Sr. has jumped into the controversy surrounding anti-gay comments made by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson.
Jesse Jackson Sr. compared Phil Robertson’s recent comments about African-Americans, gay people and women to comments made by the driver of Rosa Parks’ bus.
“At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law,” he said in a press 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>>.”
Jesse Jackson Sr. has jumped into the controversy surrounding anti-gay comments made by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson
Jesse Jackson’s human rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, has demanded meetings with A&E and with Cracker Barrel regarding the two companies’ treatment of Phil Robertson.
His group, along with LGBT group GLAAD and the National Organization for Women, urged A&E to keep Phil Robertson on an indefinite hiatus from the show, which the network started following the star’s comments in GQ magazine.
Cracker Barrel removed Duck Dynasty items from its shelves and then put them back Sunday after customers protested, according to a Cracker Barrel news release.
Jesse Jackson Sr. and the leaders of the other groups are demanding a sit-down meeting with Cracker Barrel and A&E in the next couple of days.
“It is unacceptable that a personality who has been given such a large platform would benefit from racist and anti-gay comments,” Jesse Jackson Sr. said in the release.
Less than two days after Cracker Barrel announced plans to withdraw selected Duck Dynasty items from its shelves in the wake of Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments, the Southern country store and restaurant chain has reversed its decision.
Cracker Barrel’s reversal of its former position was posted this morning to Facebook, following a flurry of negative responses from customers and fans who showed support to Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty family.
“When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done,” Cracker Barrel wrote.
“You flat out told us we were wrong. We listened.”
Cracker Barrel has reversed its decision in Phil Robertson controversy
“People weren’t shy. They wrote, called and took to social media,” Cracker Barrel’s spokesman Jeff Eller told ABC News about the company’s decision to go back on its original pledge to ax “selected products” from its stores.
The restaurant was the first major retailer to announce its stance on the Duck Dynasty scandal since Phil Robertson’s remarks went public.
A statement posted on Cracker Barrel’s Facebook page read: “Cracker Barrel’s mission is pleasing people. We operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. These ideals are the core of our corporate culture.”
The Facebook post indicated the company would continue to sell some Duck Commander products in stores, but would continue to “evaluate the products we offer.”
The announcement on Sunday confirmed the company will be reinstating all Duck Dynasty products back into its stores.
Phil Robertson has been put on hiatus by A&E Network after he made anti-gay comments in an interview with GQ magazine.
Phil Robertson’s comments received mixed reactions from the show’s millions of fans, with politicians and gay rights groups also weighing in on the issue.
Hours after the interview went public and Phil Robertson was suspended, a Facebook page popped up encouraging fans to boycott the network until the family patriarch returned. The page now has over 1.7 million likes.
Phil Robertson’s suspension has also prompted an outcry from conservative Republican politicians, including Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal.