Jussie Smollett‘s Empire character, Jamal, became the first gay and Black man to get married on a primetime show on Wednesday.
Fellow star on the hit Fox series Gabourey Sidibe tweeted about the historic moment.
“Tonight, #Empire will give life to a monumental love story by marrying 2 black, gay men for the first time in television history,” the actress wrote. “Please join us in celebration until it’s no longer a phenomenon to see 2 people of the same sex and race love each other proudly, on prime time TV.”
During the episode, Jamal married his fiance, Kai (Toby Onwumere). The wedding began with a performance by Chaka Khan, who said “Love is love” when talking about the TV moment.
According to E! Online, the nuptials explained why Smollett would not appear in the final two episodes of the season. During filming, the actor was being investigated by Chicago police for possibly staging an attack in January, about which he said two MAGA supporters targeted him for being Black and gay.
In March, the 16 charges against Smollett were dropped. Before the airing of the wedding episode, the Empire cast shared an open letter asking that the actor/singer return to the show if there are future seasons.
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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.