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Jesse Jackson, GLAAD demand meeting with A&E, Cracker Barrel over Phil Robertson

Jesse Jackson inserts himself into Phil Robertson issue, demands meeting with A&E, Cracker Barrel execs.
Jesse Jackson inserts himself into Phil Robertson issue, demands meeting with A&E, Cracker Barrel execs.Getty Images

Jesse Jackson, his Rainbow PUSH coalition and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Discrimination -- the group that encouraged A&E to suspend Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson -- are all demanding to meet with A&E and Cracker Barrel executives to discuss the future of Duck Dynasty content or memorabilia, Twitchy reported Thursday, citing a report at ABC -- a network that is part owner of A&E.

In a statement obtained by ABC, Jackson said Robertson's comments about homosexuality are "more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago.”

"At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law. 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,’” Jackson added.

Jackson then demanded a meeting be held within 72 hours of his statement and he urged A&E to uphold Robertson's suspension.

Both Jackson and GLAAD said they do not believe it's right for a personality of Robertson's stature to benefit from his comments.

Cracker Barrel pulled some Duck Dynasty products -- specifically, items featuring Robertson -- but reversed that decision and apologized after sparking outrage on social media.

Former Rep. Allen West excoriated Jackson for inserting himself into the controversy.

"Who the heck is Rev Jackson to demand a mtg with A&E Executives & CEO of Cracker Barrel? Oh right. King Race Baiter," he tweeted.

West wasn't the only person to criticize Jackson.

"Jesse Jackson does a fantastic job at dividing what's been mended. He compares the words of Phil Robertson to the Rosa Parks incident," another person said.

"Tell Jesse Jackson to worry about raising law abiding children not criminals. He and his son are a disgrace," added another Twitter user.

One person wanted to know what Jackson would do if the executives did not obey his demand to meet in 72 hours.

Another person said Jackson gets the "most racist man in America award," while another ripped Jackson for claiming that free speech is "white privilege."

Robertson has said he will not back down from his comments.

“I will not give or back off from my path,” he said Sunday.

GLAAD has said it is researching other companies sponsoring Robertson, and seeks to silence critics of homosexuality.

Despite the suspension, A&E held a Duck Dynasty marathon over Christmas.

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