Peter Linnenman

Wharton emeritus professor of real estate Peter Linneman is facing backlash for racially-charged comments he made on Wednesday.

Linneman was interviewing property magnate Samuel Zell at a real estate conference in New York City when Zell commented that nothing had happened since China lifted its one-child regulation, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Linneman responded, "If you have seen Chinese men, that may be your explanation.”

A member of the audience then said to Linneman, “Your comment was uncalled for when you said no one would have sex with Chinese men."

The event was already the subject of controversy when over 30 protesters from New York Communities for Change, a social-justice advocacy group, chanted “Sam Zell, you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side" just minutes before the interview with Zell, one of the investors in Wharton's Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center.

Some angered by Linneman's comments have launched an online petition titled "Wharton Professor Peter Linneman should be FIRED for racism." As of 4:10 p.m. on Sept. 29, 171 people signed the petition.

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