Jussie Smollett. A name we all recognize, but now for the wrong reason.
Smollett is a gay African-American actor that plays the character Jamal Lyon on the hit show Empire, with Terence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Everyone loves Smollett for his representation as a LGBTQ character in modern media and how he doesn’t fit the usual idea of a gay black man in America. People support his acting career and everything he did with it.
Until Jan. 29, 2019.
Smollett was allegedly attacked by Trump supporters, yelling racial slurs and, “This is MAGA Country!” He stated that the attackers poured a mysterious chemical on his face and beat him mercilessly.
Celebrities everywhere quickly came to his aid and supported him, pointing out the racial divide in America today, how we should pay attention to LGBTQ-related attacks, how we should come together to fight racism, etc. The African-American community as well as the LGBTQ community shared similar messages and tweets.
Smollett went as far as to announce the developments of what was happening at a concert in Los Angeles, saying he wanted to “clarify a few things.” He specified that he was complying with law enforcement to bring whoever attacked him to justice and doing his best to remember all the details of the case. Except when he left a few of them out. Then, his story started to unravel piece by piece.
First, it started when the police eventually caught the perpetrators. They weren’t white rednecks or white nationalists. They were two Nigerian brothers, which already poked holes in his story. Everyone was skeptical about Chicago P.D. originally claiming that he paid people to attack him, but after they were caught and explained everything, everyone had no choice.
Second, there was no adequate video evidence to even capture the assault. The camera was not pointed in the direction of the attack, further invalidating Smollett’s story.
Third, as more and more facts started to come out, dismantling his case, he eventually had to go on the public record and state that all of it was a trick to gain popularity for himself and the show.
Smollett has sent shockwaves of consequences because of his selfish actions. Conservatives are furious about being accused of something they didn’t do, anyone who comes forward with an actual report of a hate crime probably won’t be believed, and anyone who spoke out condemning the attack now look very idiotic. But at least Smollett is more famous now.