Actor Jussie Smollett’s 2019 Hate Crime Hoax
When I first read about the allegations – actor Smollett, formerly of the television show “Empire,” claimed to have been attacked by two white men wearing MAGA (“Make America Great Again”) hats in Chicago, who he claims assaulted him and yelled at him, “This is MAGA country!” – I didn’t jump in to comment either way.
I initially felt there was something “off” and too strange about Smollett’s account to be true, but I wasn’t totally sure. I was willing to wait a few days to see what, if anything, the Chicago police department would say, before weighing in and offering my opinion.
As the days went by, more and more details emerged, to the point the Chicago police department had a press conference where they laid out a lot of the evidence and details that revealed that there was no hate crime: Smollette had hired two of his friends to pretend to attack him. Smollett is still maintaining his innocence, but it looks to me as though he is guilty, that he staged the whole affair.
Before the cops came out and said much of anything, liberal celebrities were all over Twitter defending him, and blaming anyone who voted for Trump (I myself sat out the 2016 election, so I did not vote for Trump) – liberal celebrities were blaming anyone who voted for Trump. They were depicting anyone who voted for Trump as being racist and being anti-homosexual.
Liberals are running around now – well, some of them – saying, that while Smollett may have been lying about being attacked that hate crimes against LGBT and other groups are still very much a concern.
None of them, however, mentioned the times liberals have beaten and punched Trump supporters in public for wearing “MAGA” hats. Liberal celebrities don’t seem to care how Smollett’s false claims may have incited other liberals to assault or harass conservatives.
Liberals seem to have little concern for all the instances liberals have harassed or assaulted conservatives for being conservative or for wearing the red MAGA hats.
Here are some of the editorials about it, and some of the news coverage:
Actress Ellen Page addressed her role in promoting the Jussie Smollett hate hoax in an op-ed published Wednesday and refused to apologize to President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence for blaming them for the “attack.”
….In the article, she fails to apologize for her role in casting blame on Donald Trump and Mike Pence for the “attack” on Empire actor Jussie Smollett, that Chicago police now believe was staged by the actor himself.
Following the hoax attack, the Juno actress appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and blamed the Trump administration for the hoax attack. Many Hollywood celebrities also blamed Trump and his supporters for the “attack.”
“The vice president of America wishes I didn’t have the love with my wife,” the 32-year-old said.
“If you are in a position of power and you hate people, and you want to cause suffering to them, you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering, what do you think is going to happen? Kids are going to be abused and they’re going to kill themselves, and people are going to be beaten on the street!”
…Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and openly gay, said the masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled “This is MAGA country” — an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — before fleeing.
It was after the police spoke with brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo that they pivoted their investigation away from a hate crime and to an allegedly false police report.
Johnson said that the Chicago police apprehended the brothers for 48 hours and that they became “cooperating witnesses” in the 47th hour, noting that authorities “gathered up a lot of evidence and facts before then.”
…He maintained that the Chicago police were not out to get Smollett and sympathized with his plight at first, despite his story allegedly having holes.
The smoking gun, Johnson claims, was the Osundairo brothers presenting police with a check from Smollett.
“They said that he paid them $3,500 with a check … to carry out this incident,” he said.
Smollett’s legal team has maintained that the check was for personal training and nutrition services.
“The Chicago Police Department has its issues with racism and excessive force and I’m acutely aware of that,” Johnson admitted. “But we didn’t earn this particular incident and I refuse to let us take that shot if we have evidence of the contrary … [Filing a false report] is a dangerous thing to do to a city and to a police department. Something like this can be really damaging. We made a lot of progress in the last three years in terms of race relations … I just hope people dont judge other people that are victims of these types of crimes.”
He added, “There are real victims of hate crimes and I just hope that people don’t treat them with skepticism.”
Johnson said that the investigation is ongoing.
by Jennifer Earl
Feb 21, 2019
…After Smollett was arrested Thursday morning for “filing a false police report,” all eyes were on his former celebrity supporters who initially demanded justice and used the actor’s photo to spread their message.
While the majority remained mum on the issue, a handful began to backtrack and even delete their Smollett-related posts — as the current narrative didn’t appear to support their earlier anti-Trump and anti-police messages.
…As developments in the case continue, here’s a look at celebrity reactions.
Actor and comedian Tyler Perry has continued to stick by his pal Smollett, whom he says he’s “personally spoken” with since the alleged attack.
“He is adamant that he’s telling the truth. Also, everyone that I know who knows him says that he is not the kind of person who would make up such a horrible and awful thing,” Perry explained in a Thursday Facebook post, though he admitted the “evidence seems to state otherwise.”
“I’m lost for words. To stoke fears and raise racial tensions is wrong in every situation on ALL SIDES! Yet my prayers are still with him and his family and our Nation. CAN WE PLEASE STOP THE HATE!” Perry added.
Actor Patton Oswalt tweeted a profanity-laced tweet in response to President Trump’s tweet calling out Smollett. Trump tweeted, “what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments?”
Oswalt then replied, “Way to go Jussie. You just handed this racist dips–t a ‘Get Out Of Race-Baiting Free’ card that he’s gonna wave around like a soiled diaper until he’s re-elected.”
…Michael Ian Black
Comedian Michael Ian Black cracked a joke about the Smollett investigation on Thursday.
“On the positive side, now I know who Jussie Smollett is,” he joked, as dozens of fans began to weigh in.
The lighthearted tone is in sharp contrast to a tweet he shared from activist DeRay Mckesson on Jan. 29 — when the alleged attack occurred.
“I don’t really have a lot of words. Jussie is an amazing man. This is horrible. Homophobia is dangerous. F–k MAGA. #WeLoveJussie,” Mckesson said in a tweet, which Black posted on his account.
Feb 27, 2019
By Katie Rothstein
Page was one of the first to speak out vehemently in support of Smollett when news of the attack first broke, and her heated comments on Colbert were widely shared. Until today, Page had yet to speak out about the Smollett case since revelations that the attack might be fake. Smollett was chargedwith filing a false police report, and police now claim that he planned the attack himself.
In the letter, Page addresses the controversy directly, reminding readers that she had “no reason to doubt Jussie.” She also addresses what could happen if the Smollett hoax turns out to be true: “If this situation was staged, it could make victims even more reluctant to report these crimes. Very real crimes.”
Page pledged to use her privilege and visibility to continue speaking out — and she’s been doing so recently. Earlier this month, Page called out Chris Pratt for attending what she called an “infamously” anti-LGBTQ+ church. (Pratt responded to the accusations with an Instagram Story, claiming his church was all about love.)
Via BBC, Feb. 21, 2019:
US actor Jussie Smollett staged a fake attack on himself because he was “dissatisfied with his salary”, Chicago police say.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a news conference that he “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career”.
Mr Smollett, 36, is charged with filing a false police report after he said he was the victim of a homophobic attack.
Police say he also had sent a racist letter to himself at a Fox studio.
On Thursday, Mr Smollett appeared in court and was ordered to submit a bond of $10,000 and surrender his passport.
Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke called the charges “utterly outrageous” and “despicable” if true.
The star of the TV series Empire is suspected of paying two brothers to stage the attack. They are both co-operating with the investigation, police say.
On Wednesday his lawyers said they would “mount an aggressive defence”.
What do police say?
In a scathing news conference on Thursday, Supt Johnson accused the actor of committing a crime “to further his own profile”.
He said Mr Smollett had betrayed the city of Chicago, and said “this publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn and certainly didn’t deserve”.
The “hoax”, he said, “received national attention for weeks”, and may deter future hate crime victims from coming forward for fear that their allegations may be met with scepticism.
He called upon the actor “to apologise to this city that he smeared”.
“Celebrities, news commentators, and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor,” he said, with palpable anger as he spoke.
“I’m left hanging my head and asking why,” he said, describing Mr Smollett’s actions as a “slap in the face” to Chicagoans.
…Police say they have a cheque that Mr Smollett signed and that he had agreed to pay $3,500 (£2,700) for the brothers’ participation.
Supt Johnson said that he had told at least one of the brothers that he was “dissatisfied” with his salary from Fox.
He added that Mr Smollett first “attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic and political language” to Fox studios.
Police had confirmed in early February that a letter containing a white powder – later identified as aspirin – was included in the threatening letter that authorities now believe was now sent by the actor himself.
by J Hindaraker
When a guy named Jussie Smollett, who is an actor on a TV show called Empire, claimed that he was attacked in the middle of the night, in his exclusive Navy Pier neighborhood of Chicago, by a couple of Trump supporters wearing “MAGA” hats, no one with any sense believed him. It was obviously another in a long series of such claims, pretty much all of which turn out to be frauds. That was the case here, as most people always assumed.
The truth is finally coming out, as the Chicago police have patiently investigated Smollett’s story. First, though, let’s visit the liberal media’s uncritical reaction to Smollett’s transparent fabrication. Our friends at Grabien have an excellent compendium:
It turns out that the whole thing was a hoax. Smollett apparently paid two Nigerian brothers who were extras on Empire to fake the attack on him:
Empire star Jussie Smollett paid two men $3,500 to stage an assault against him which he later claimed was an attack motivated by racism and homophobia, investigators in Chicago now believe.
The stunning turn of events has rapidly transformed the beloved actor who was once thought to be the victim of a heinous hate crime into a suspect in a criminal investigation.
by Gary Levin
Feb 22, 2019
Fox announced on Friday Jussie Smollett was suspended from the hit show “Empire”after the actor was accused of paying two men to attack him last month in what police say was a ploy to raise his profile because he was unhappy with his salary.
by J. Stepman
Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good narrative.
For a time, that’s what happened in the case of Jussie Smollett, a gay, black actor who stars in the show “Empire,” who claimed he was the victim of a vicious and brutal hate crime in Chicago. On Wednesday, Smollett was charged with filing a false police report and disorderly conduct, according to Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
The case received national attention, in part due to Smollett’s celebrity and his immediate openness to the media, and in part because of how media and pundits latched on to the story.
The underlying narrative was that, because of President Donald Trump, violent hate crimes against minorities are rising. Smollett’s story—that he was beaten by two men who poured bleach on him, tied a noose around his neck, and yelled, “This is MAGA country”—fit the narrative just too perfectly, which is why more reservations from the get-go would have served everyone well.
But that skepticism was notably absent. Celebrities and politicians couldn’t help themselves from jumping in to condemn not just the crime itself, but a large section of the American population.
While you won’t hear this from mainstream media, much of the talk about hate crimes lacks crucial context.
…Peter Hasson at The Daily Caller News Foundation also catalogued 19 “hate crimes” in the Trump era that turned out much different than the media initially reported. This list included a woman who said a man threatened to light her on fire if she didn’t remove her hijab, which turned out to be untrue, and a Texas waitress who faked a racist note about Hispanics she said she received on a receipt.
It also bears noting that the data on “rising” hate crimes is deeply unclear, as Reason’s Robby Soave hasdocumented.
“While it’s true that the FBI’s count of hate crimes rose 17 percent from 2016 to 2017, it’s important to note that 1,000 additional agencies reported information to the FBI in the latter year,” Soave wrote. “It should go without saying, but as the number of agencies participating in the FBI’s count of hate crimes grows more numerous, the total number of hate crimes will undoubtedly rise. This does not necessarily mean that hate crimes are surging—just that the authorities undercounted them previously.”
Soave then explained how one statistic about rising anti-Semitism, which the Anti-Defamation League said had risen 57 percent under Trump, “reflected an increase in bomb threats against U.S.-based Jewish institutions perpetrated by just one person: a deranged Israeli teenager. Anti-Semitic violence, according to the [Anti-Defamation League’s] count, actually decreased 47 percent.”
This is not to say that these sorts of crimes aren’t happening, or that they aren’t actually on the rise. It is just misleading to make such a claim based on the available data.
I will likely update this post in the future, with any new developments in the Smollett case.