Currently, Empire star Jussie Smollett is being charged with a Class 4 felony due to filing a fake police report. A month ago, Smollett reportedly told police that he’d been attacked by two men in the downtown Chicago area. Jussie stated that the men were yelling “this is a MAGA country” along with other sexually offensive and racial slurs while tying a rope around his neck. Two law enforcement sources with knowledge on the case have reportedly told CNN that Chicago police believe that Smollett paid the two men to make the attack; “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary, so he concocted a story about being attacked,”. Jussie, 36, is now facing up to three years in prison and being charged with disorderly conduct.
Since then, the actor has been temporarily suspended from the show. Smollett was supposed to have 9 scenes, along with a big musical number in the second to last episodes, which are currently being shot. However, 5 of his scenes have been cut, along with his musical number. Jussie’s participation on Empire is now limited and his only days to work this week have been reported to be Thursday and Friday with no rehearsal.
Smollett’s case is said to head to Grandy Jury as early as Tuesday, but it has impacted the black community as well as the LGBTQ community in just a matter of days. This situation has unfortunately caused a public uproar amongst public figures and citizens of the LGBTQ community. President Trump commented on the hoax via Twitter by stating; “It appears that Jussie Smollett tried to manufacture a hate crime to make Trump supporters look bad and most of the media not only uncritically accepted his lies as facts for weeks, but attacked those who questioned the validity of his false story.”
Jussie’s lawyers are outraged and say that “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
However, the case is still underway, and as well all eagerly await the results, let us keep in mind that attacks on any community are wrong and must be taken seriously.