Jussie Smollett didn’t attend the 50th NAACP Image Awards, but he was definitely a hot topic.
Smollett was nominated for his role on Fox’s Empire and many speculated that he would use the opportunity to make his grand resurgence back into the limelight. The actor ultimately lost Friday night in his category to “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams and was a no show to both.
Presenters apparently were told NOT to mention the embattled star but Chris Tucker couldn’t help himself.
“They said no Jussie Smollett jokes,” Rock said while presenting the award for Outstanding Comedy Series. “What a waste of light skin. You know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here. I would be running Hollywood.”
“What the hell was he thinking?” he continued. “You are ‘Jessie’ from now on. You don’t even get the ‘u’ anymore. That ‘u’ is respect. You ain’t getting no respect from me.”
— TV One (@tvonetv) March 31, 2019
The feeling however wasn’t mutual in the room. Black-ish star Yara Shihidi made it known she stands with Jussie while the cast accepted it’s award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Back on the red carpet many other celebs expressed their support and happiness that all charges had been dropped against Smollett.
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Smollett had previously been accused by Chicago police of paying two men to stage a Jan. 31 hate crime to gin up public attention because he was dissatisfied with his pay on “Empire.” Prosecutors initially charged him with 16 felony counts related to filing a false police report, but those charges were dropped after the actor served two days of community service and forfeited his $10,000 cash bond payment to the city.
Anthony Anderson, this year’s host, told HipHollywood that the system worked for Smollett and he was happy with the outcome.
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