The Democratic National Committee appeared to pull its sponsorship of the Women’s March after some members of the event’s leadership refused to distance themselves from Louis Farrakhan, who has been widely condemned for making anti-Semitic remarks.
The DNC’s name disappeared from the Women’s March sponsorship webpage sometime this week, according to a cache of the website. The group is planning a mass protest event on Jan. 19 in Washington, D.C., its third annual event.
Several members of the Women’s March have been embroiled in controversy in recent months over their affiliation with Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam who has a long history of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Two leaders of the group, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez, have posted photos with the man on Instagram, and Mallory refused to denounce Farrakhan in an appearance on “The View” this week.
“I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric,” Mallory said in the interview, referencing a social media post in which she referred to Farrakhan as GOAT. “I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities.”
A spokeswoman for the DNC declined to comment on the timing in a statement to the The Daily Beast, but said women were at the “core of our Democratic Party.”
“The DNC stands in solidarity with all those fighting for women’s rights and holding the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers across the country accountable,” Sabrina Singh, the DNC’s deputy communications director, told the outlet. “Women are on the front lines of fighting back against this administration and are the core of our Democratic Party.”
Some women have already said they won’t attend the event later this week and others have called for both Mallory and Perez to step down. In November, the founder of the Women’s March, Teresa Shook, wrote a post on Facebook accusing the current leadership of steering “the movement away from its true course.”
“In opposition to our Unity Principles, they have allowed anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform by their refusal to separate themselves from groups that espouse these racist, hateful beliefs,” Shook wrote.
Other national groups have also pulled their sponsorship of the event, including EMILY’s List and the Southern Poverty Law Center.