Jussie Smollett, the “Empire” actor who claimed that he was attacked by two supporters of President Donald J. Trump because he is gay and black, refused to allow “Empire” staff to cast a white boyfriend for his character, Jamal.
“There was talk about Jamal having a white boyfriend,” Smollett said at the time. “And I said, ‘F*** no!’ Not for any reason, except we have a responsibility and we have a such a beautiful opportunity to show two black men in a relationship together, in a healthy relationship.”
Smollett has personally been engulfed in controversy for the past two weeks.
He claimed that two men shouting “this is MAGA country” beat him, tied a rope around his neck, and covered him in bleach during a 2 a.m. attack in his swanky Chicago neighborhood. Naturally, the media ran with the story, anxious to cast Trump supporters in a negative light.
Since then, police have reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance tape from the incident and have not been able to identify any subjects in the alleged attack. Smollett said he was on the phone with his manager at the time, but has refused to turn unredacted phone records over to the police for examination.
Meanwhile, some of his neighbors have publicly doubted the story, and Smollett has hired a “crisis manager,” along with the PR firm for disgraced former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein to deal with the media in the wake of alleged attack.
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