A New York-based journalist is making some extreme accusations against Rev. Jesse Jackson and Boyz n the Hood director, John Singleton. Danielle Young, a writer for The Root, recently penned a personal essay for the website, alleging that both Jackson and Singleton inappropriately touched her without her consent and repeatedly sexually harassed her.
In the essay, entitled, “Don’t Let the Smile Fool You. I’m Cringing on the Inside,” Young revisited his first encounter with Jackson. She was reportedly working at an unidentified media company when Jackson met with her and other employees after a speech to take photos. “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,” Young wrote. “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.”
The Root also published photos of Young and Jackson smiling and standing close to one another. Young stated that she was “shocked” by Jackson’s alleged actions, but nervously giggled to mask her discomfort. “I personally never wanted to say anything because my situation was just a thigh grab. Barely a blip on anyone’s radar, even my own,” Young continued. “My silence gave Jackson permission to continue grabbing at the next pair of thick thighs he liked. I’m hoping that my voice does the opposite.”
In a separate incident, Young also recalled the time Singleton allegedly assaulted her during the 2017 American Black Film Festival. She alleged she had just finished interviewing the director when he grabbed her wrist to pull her close to him.
“Bring that juiciness over here,” he allegedly demanded of Young.
“He grabbed me around my waist and pulled me into him, saying, ‘Oooh, I’m gonna grab on tight to you.’ I laughed, because that’s what I do when I am uncomfortable, and snapped the photo,” she recalled. Young shared a photo of her and Singleton on Instagram, which she claimed was a “defense mechanism.”
And like she did with Jackson, Young claimed that she tried to excuse Singleton’s behavior. “I normalized it and made myself believe it was no big deal. Singleton was just being a man,” she added. “It’s not my fault if a man wants to turn a professional environment into a playground, flirting, grabbing and sexual talk… I didn’t ask for the attention just by existing.”
Singleton has not directly responded to Young’s allegations. A rep for Jackson did contact The Root however, and stated that Jackson “does not recall the meeting three years ago, he profoundly and sincerely regrets any pain Ms. Young may have experienced.”
This story is still developing.