CHICAGO — The elder son of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. said it was a "big mistake" that his family did not make sure entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte spoke at Coretta Scott King's funeral, according to a published report.
Belafonte, who has strongly criticized President Bush, has said that he was invited to speak but that the invitation was rescinded at the insistence of the White House.
Martin Luther King III, whose father was friends with Belafonte, denied that the White House was involved and said he considered the situation a mistake, the Chicago Defender newspaper reported Wednesday.
"There was a big mix-up," King said. "It certainly didn't have anything to do with President Bush being there."
The mix-up occurred because Belafonte's invitation came from a person helping plan the service, not directly from the family, King said.