Actor Jussie Smollett has found himself in hot water. Felonious hot water. The actor is facing a felony charge for a hoax he purportedly concocted for attention to get more money. As of this moment, he is still employed as an actor on the hit show “Empire”. But for how long?
The alleged crime against Jussie Smollett
I should know better than anyone that we are innocent until proven guilty. But let’s face it: technically having to wait until a court conviction doesn’t mean we’re not guilty from the get-go. I’ve been privy to police reports and court documents over the last few months as an extern. What I have found is the following:
- It can take years for the court to see a case
- Many of those convicted in court were known to be guilty by police from the start
Smollett claimed that on January 29th, two men physically attacked him, poured an unknown chemical substance on him and tied a rope around his neck while hurling racial and homophobic comments. For a quick minute, Smollett got to bask in the love and support of fellow actors and a spectrum of Americans: gay, white, black, straight, famous, unknown…. By February 17th, the “trajectory of the investigation…shifted” from the arrest of two perpetrators working against Smollett to his own arrest for working with the two perps to fabricate the hate crime hoax.
Who is Jussie Smollett?
Justin “Jussie” Smollet is a 36 year old American Actor with an impressive list of film and TV work dating back to 1991. He is openly gay, is an African-American, and was born in California. Not only can he act, this guy can sing. His most famous work is as “Jamal Lyon” on “Empire”. Yet, it is this very show that he apparently was not satisfied with.
Is it all about the money?
I did some digging. It turns out Smollett plays onscreen siblings with two other characters. The three of them reportedly make around the same type of money. In 2017, Smollett was worth about $500,000. This year, his net worth is reported to be double that amount.
technically having to wait until a court conviction doesn’t mean we’re not guilty from the get-go
“Empire’s” lead actors reportedly make about $175,000 per episode, while Smollett makes about $20,000 per episode. I don’t know about you, but $20,000 per episode sounds pretty good to me. I’m not judging Smollett…at least, I don’t think I am. However, I am wondering how much money is enough and why did Smollett feel entitled to more?
What happens now?
Smollett is now facing a class 4 felony charge of filing a false police report, which is considered “disorderly conduct”. This is punishable for up to three years in prison.
Honestly, I feel bad for the guy. He made one doozy of a mistake and since he’s an actor and lives in the age of the internet, he will never be able to live this down. We should all be allowed to make mistakes but those that live in glass houses have to be more careful.
Smollett is so multi-talented that he did not need to go this route. I’m sure it did not take long for him to regret this colossal mistake. I hope that he will recover from it and be humbled enough in the future to work more if he wants to be paid more…just like the rest of us.