‘It’s not my place or any other person’s place to judge him or whatnot, but I’m glad that he’s nominated…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) After faking a hate crime and walking away from 16 counts of disorderly conduct, former “Empire” star Jussie Smollett was nominated for acting work by the 2019 NAACP Image Awards—and host Anthony Anderson is publicly rooting for him.
“I hope he wins,” Anderson told Variety. “I’m happy for him that the system worked for him in his favor because the system isn’t always fair, especially for people of color. So I’m glad it worked out for him.”
Chicago prosecutors announced this week that they were dropping all charges against Smollett, who drew outrage and widespread condemnation when his claim that two white Trump supporters verbally and physically attacked him proved to be a hoax.
“It’s not my place or any other person’s place to judge him or whatnot, but I’m glad that he’s nominated,” Anderson continued. “I hope he wins because I’d be interested to hear his speech.”
Smollett claimed that he was walking home one night when two men grabbed him, yelled racial and homophobic slurs, and wrapped a noose around his neck, yelling “This is MAGA country.”
The hate-crime hoaxer has continued to deny lying to police or faking the attack, even after law enforcement discovered that Smollett had paid two brothers $3,500 to stage it.
“I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since Day 1,” Smollett told reporters after the charges were dropped.
“It’s been an incredibly difficult time. One of the worst of my entire life. … Now I would like nothing more than to just to get back to work and get on with my life.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson both slammed the “whitewash of justice” after prosecutors’ decision to drop charges.
“It’s Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax,” Emanuel said. “He’s still saying he’s innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department. How dare he? How dare he? It is wrong. Full stop.”
President Donald Trump has said he may encourage the FBI and Justice Department to review whether Smollett could be charged with federal crimes.