Spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant, on the red carpet of the Black Women in Hollywood Awards luncheon Thursday, compared the alleged staged attack by Jussie Smollett to the actions of President Donald Trump .
“If he did this, he did at the core what we do every day, he told a lie,” Vanzant told Variety following a question about how to make sense of the controversy.
She continued, “Now we can make up whatever we want to make up about it, but he told a lie the same way the leader of this country does every day.”
The Fix My Life star referenced reports that the president makes up false truths to get his way. According to The Washington Post, Trump has told more than 8,000 false or misleading claims since taking office in Jan.2017.
“At the core, if [Smollett] did this, it means that he has some unheard, unspoken, unacknowledged pain. People in pain seek to get attention,” she told the entertainment news outlet.
Vanzant said she has already forgiven the Empire star if he is responsible for setting up the hoax.
“I’ve done it. I’ve lied to get my way,” she said in conclusion. “People do it every day. People do it in fear. People do it in pain and in anger. Instead of making this about him because he’s on Empire, let’s make it about the fragility of who we are as human beings.”
Watch the full interview below.
What's Your Reaction?
Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.