A top House Republican lawmaker is calling for Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.’s resignation amid backlash over a controversial photo of him circulating on social media.
Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) — a former pastor who serves on a music faculty advisory board at the university — took to Twitter on Thursday with critical remarks toward Falwell, describing his behavior as “appalling.”
“Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling,” Walker tweeted. “As a Music Faculty Advisory Board Member and former instructor [Liberty University], I’m convinced Falwell should step down. None of us are perfect, but students, faculty, alumni, and [LUPraise] deserve better.”
Jerry Falwell Jr’s ongoing behavior is appalling.— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) August 6, 2020
As a Music Faculty Advisory Board Member and former instructor @LibertyU, I’m convinced Falwell should step down.
None of us are perfect, but students, faculty, alumni and @LUPraise deserve better.
Walker’s remarks come just days after faced a barrage of criticism over the photo. As the head of a collegiate institution with a foundation built of strong Christian principles, many have deemed the photo inappropriate.
wut is happening pic.twitter.com/8iEOr9EeRQ— Robert Downen (@RobDownenChron) August 3, 2020
Amid criticism, Falwell has offered an explanation and apology for the viral since-deleted Instagram post. During a radio interview with WLNI 105.9FM, Falwell noted that the photo of him and his wife’s assistant was taken on a yacht while on vacation.
“She’s pregnant so she couldn’t get her — she couldn’t get her pants up. And I was like, trying to like — my — I had on pair of jeans that I hadn’t worn in a long time so I couldn’t get mine zipped either,” Falwell explained.
He continued, “So, I just put my belly out like hers,” saying, “She’s my wife’s assistant she’s a sweetheart. I should have never put it up and embarrassed her.”
Noting that he has already apologized once, Falwell — who has been president of Liberty University since 2007 — also appeared to dismiss his own behavior as he insisted he will “try to be a good boy” going forward.
“I’ve apologized to everybody. I promised my kids I will try to be a good boy from here on out,” he said.