Recently, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly joined in the joined in the criticism following the announcement that Al Sharpton would be receiving a book deal from Cash Money Records.
During his segment, O’Reilly criticized Sharpton for being “in business with people who put out entertainment that his harmful to children …The fact is, Al Sharpton is allowing a company that harms black children to distribute his book.”
In response, Tamika D. Mallory, executive director of Sharpton’s National Action Network, issued a statement in response to The Huffington Post.
“As National Executive Director of National Action Network (NAN) and head of the Decency Initiative, I find it a blatant contradiction that Bill O’Reilly would question our President, Rev. Al Sharpton writing a book on the evolution of his principles and ideas, detailing among other things why he is against certain lyrics in hip-hop and has stopped himself from using specific words,” stated Mallory. “Being published by Simon & Schuster in a joint venture with the parent company Cash Money Content, which itself has a relationship with the parent company of Cash Money Records, I find Mr. O’Reilly’s assertions a contradiction because I sit on the Diversity Council of News Corp that owns Fox News and the New York Post in the seat designated for National Action Network. Both of these media are frequent, consistent critics of Rev. Sharpton and NAN, and have done things that many of us disagree with in terms of aspirations of the Black community.”
Mallory argued that it is possible to be affiliated with an organization even if you don’t agree with all of its policies. “News Corp also continues to support National Action Network functions and events financially, so if Rev. Sharpton can say we disagree with the News Corp entity, but should be open to dialogue, by what standards might he say to Simon & Schuster, that we are not open to doing business with Cash Money, especially since he can express his problems with lyrics and language in the book? Either we have one standard or not.”
“Secondly, I was in the meeting between Pepsi executives, the family of Emmett Till and Rev. Sharpton. There was nobody from Cash Money in that meeting because Pepsi had severed all ties with Lil’ Wayne, and Cash Money and had done so at the urging of both the Till family and Rev. Sharpton. The purpose of the meeting was for Pepsi to assure the family and Rev. Sharpton they were not going to reinstate the Lil’ Wayne deal. To insinuate that there was some deal in the meeting is a blatant lie. The fact remains that Pepsi had still withdrawn any relationship with Lil’ Wayne, so what would there be a deal around? The book deal with Simon & Schuster and Cash Money Content was signed through Massenburg Media and Rev. Sharpton last year and the book was in publication even before the Lil’ Wayne/Pepsi controversy occurred. The evidence of that is that the galleys are already out. Finally, as Rev. Sharpton often says, “We can have different opinions, but we can not have different facts.
-Tamika D. Mallory, National Executive Director, National Action Network”
Sharpton’s book deal with Cash Money came as a surprise to many, not least of all because Cash Money artist Lil Wayne dissed Sharpton on Tha Carter III track “DontGetIt.” Sharpton’s book, titled The Rejected Stone is due out on October 8.