The following is a statement from the Rev. Al Sharpton: “The Rev. Jesse Jackson has been fired from his role as host of the BET Awards.
He has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of an investigation.”
Sharpton had called on the network to immediately suspend Jackson.
In an op-ed published in The Associated Press, he called the incident a “serious loss for BET” and an “egregious attack on civil rights.”
The BET Awards is one of the largest, most prestigious and diverse entertainment events in the country.
This year, Jackson will be inducted into the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Television Critics Association (TCA) Hall of Fame.
He is also the recipient of the 2015 PGA Tour Players’ Award and a 2015 BET Award.
The network issued a statement on Friday evening that read in part, “We’re saddened to hear about the firing of Rev. Jackson.
We appreciate his contributions to the BET Community and the incredible work he does to empower people to become leaders in their communities.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Rev. Dr. Jackson and his family at this difficult time.”
In response to the statement, a statement released by the BET organization said that the decision was made after an extensive review of Revs.
Jackson’s behavior, conduct and performance over the last four years.
“We are not surprised that Rev. Sharpton would not agree with our decision,” the statement said.
“Our CEO and our Board of Directors have spoken and they have decided that Revs.’ behavior was unacceptable, and the decision is to terminate his employment.”
The statement also noted that Rev, Sharpton is the son of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and a co-founder of the Black Panthers.
“As we know, his record of leadership and advocacy is a legacy that must be shared and honored in the hopes that we can all continue to move forward in a better world,” the organization added.