For those of you unaware of the case or who Jussie Smollett is; let me break it down for you as it was previously reported:
Jussie is a star on the hit show ‘Empire’ starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrance Howard. About three weeks ago, he was the victim of a hate crime. Two unknown men (described as white and dressed in MAGA hats) jumped Jussie in the middle of the night, on a Chicago street (same city where ‘Empire’ is filmed) wrapping a noose around his neck and pouring bleach on him. They called him the N-word and said “this is MAGA country.” He then reported the crime to Chicago police.
When the report was first released, there was a huge outpouring of sympathy and support as it was not uncommon for someone like Jussie who is Black and LGBTQ to be violently attacked. He was the most prolific, so of course it sparked a conversation for the non-marginalized to understand why this happens. Good. It should have done that. However, as time and reporting went on, more people are discrediting the story. The common denominator being that this was a staged publicity stunt.
Now here is something I can sink my teeth into.
For a little background about myself: I’m an actor, who is working an internship with an industry insider who’s job is dedicated to publicity. I benefit from this gig not only for college credit but also for a better understanding of how to promote and manage myself in this industry. I have previously wrote about the publicity stunt orchestrated by Conor MacGregor (which I still hold firm due to my time in Dublin and all of the rumblings I have heard about him); and another possible chance of two celebrities “dating” to make their exes jealous (though I did delete that post because no one could possibly be that stupid.)
Now you know where my head is at, let’s talk about how this could either make a good publicity stunt or a bad one.
As far as a good publicity stunt goes…like I said, sparking the conversation people need to have about violence towards Black LGBTQ communities benefited from this. It also sheds a much needed light on the fact that there are people emboldened by hate due to our current “leadership.”
Bad publicity would mean that he staged this for sympathy and attention devoted solely to him and not the community as a whole. Ultimately wasting time and resources by law enforcement and labeled a liar for the rest of his life.
Regardless of whether the publicity is good or bad, it does make people talk which would be a win for Jussie; but there’s no real gain beyond that. He doesn’t stand to make more money from this. There are no additional acting jobs being thrown at him. He’s not getting written off ‘Empire’. There’s absolutely nothing.
Some suspect that maybe the details of the case were fudged to cover up a sexual encounter gone wrong with, possibly, the two suspected male assailants in the case. But why? Smollett is openly gay, so making up this story to cover up a sexual relationship with another man in the year 2019 would be pointless.
There’s also the theory that he was purchasing drugs and was assaulted. In order to hide from the shame he made up a story about a hate crime. Once again pointless. Celebrities are notorious for dipping into illegal substances. He could be charged with a crime, yes, but he’s not going to completely have the book thrown at him as opposed to someone like me who is common and poor. If anything he would just issue a bullshit public statement about his drug use and then spend a couple of weeks in rehab.
The big theory amongst the social media rabble is that the creator of ‘Empire’, Lee Daniels, set Jussie up in an attack for reasons unknown to them…
This took the cake for me.
I have heard that Lee Daniels is not the most pleasant person to work with, but he is running a business, so harming someone who keeps his business running would not make sense either.
With all of this said: I believe he was attacked.
Now could Jussie have embellished the details of his attack in order to point fingers at a group he doesn’t like? It’s possible. Maybe it was a simple mugging and he used the opportunity to say racists did it, I don’t know. What I do know is that the reporting of this case from start to finish is a hot mess. I hope for a resolution and the truth to come out soon.