“They said no Jussie Smollett jokes, I know,” the comedian said before referencing colorism within the acting industry. “What a waste of White skin.
“What the hell was he thinking?” Rock asked. “From now on, you’re Jessie. You don’t even get the ‘U’ no more. That ‘U’
In late January, the Empire actor claimed two masked men wearing MAGA hats attacked him in Chicago. He also alleged the attackers yelled homophobic and racist slurs during the incident.
A month into the investigation, the Chicago Police Department accused Smollett of staging the attack and disclosed that two suspects in the case were brothers from Nigerian, one of which was an extra on Season Two of the Fox series.
Nearly two weeks later, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office dropped all the charges against Smollette. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called the shocking dismissal “a whitewash of justice.”
Though he was nominated for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series, Smollett did not attend the NAACP Image Awards ceremony. Despite the speculation and uncertainty around the news, other Hollywood stars and attendees still showed support for the actor/singer, including Yara Shahidi. When the black-ish cast took the stage to accept the award for outstanding comedy series, Shahidi said, “I stand with Jussie,” in response to Rock’s joke.
Hear the wisecrack below.