A daytime TV talk show host recently said that if Jussie Smollett did indeed stage a fake hate crime against himself, his actions were “low-key noble.”
The hosts of “The Real,” a syndicated talk show aired on Fox-owned local markets, expressed sympathy for the embattled actor during an episode on Wednesday, following news that Smollett had been indicted on six counts of disorderly conduct.
Co-host Amanda Seales took the panel’s defense of Smollett a step further.
“Even if it was a hoax for the sake of bringing attention to this, then I’m like, that’s low-key noble,” she said.
“Like, I’m just at my wits end about us centering situations like this and wanting to make people have to pay,” Seales said in reference to Smollett’s alleged hate crime hoax.
Seales continued her rant by referencing Emmitt Till, a 14-year-old black teen who was brutally murdered by a lynch mob in Mississippi in 1955 after a white woman accused him of making advances toward her.
“Like, Emmett Till’s accuser was alive — I think she’s still alive. This young man died, and she announced that she was lying about it — they should have put the shackles on her that day! And she’s walking around!” she said.
Seales also said that “no one was hurt” by Smollett’s alleged lie and dismissed the notion that taxpayers should be outraged by the use of police resources in investigating the actor’s claim.
“Taxpayers resources are being used every day to imprison people who have done nothing but be an addict. So I don’t want to hear about Jussie Smollett,” Seales said.
According to Seales, black men “are constantly getting the book thrown at them all the time” and “we have lived in a nation where they don’t believe hate crimes every day.”
If Smollett did orchestrate a hoax, Seales said, it shouldn’t make Americans more skeptical of the many hate crimes that take place “every single day.”
“They got a smack on the wrist for all these people and they can’t give a smack on the wrist for Jussie Smollett?” she added.
Jussie Smollett gets charged again
Special prosecutor Dan Webb revived the prosecution of Smollett on Tuesday, announcing he had obtained a six-count indictment against the actor for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack against himself in January 2019.
Webb accused Smollett, who is black and openly gay, of making four separate false reports to Chicago police related to his account of the attack.
A Cook County grand jury returned the indictment after the special prosecutor found “reasonable grounds exist to further prosecute Mr. Smollett,” Webb said.
Webb also said he was continuing to investigate potential misconduct by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her staff.
Foxx’s office dropped felony charges against actor Smollett last year, leading to an outcry from law enforcement officials and members of the public.
Chicago police expended numerous man-hours looking into Smollett’s claims of being attacked. But they arrested him a month later, accusing the actor of paying two brothers $3,500 to stage the attack in an effort to use the notoriety to advance his career.
In March, Foxx’s office charged Smollett in a 16-count indictment only to dismiss the charges three weeks later as part of an unofficial “plea deal” with the actor. He agreed to perform 16 hours of community service and pay $10,000 for legal fees.
- Hosts on “The Real” discuss Jussie Smollett.: Screen grab