The Truth in Jussie Smollett's Lie

by shannon jay

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Information on both fronts recounting the whole story is stewed in a stench of fishiness no matter how you slice it. It’s only been a month since the ‘Empire’ star claimed he was attacked, but the story has changed over an over again.

It’s the fault of the quick-acting media, mostly, for not letting things develop before getting information out. Every few hours something changed with this story, and all sources countered each other. For example, TMZ released today Jussie may not have written the initial letter while Sun’s sensationally claimed he did.

Initially the media claimed he staged the letter and attack as a response to his salary on the FOX show, while execs themselves don’t believe that was the case. Many comments wanted to say he made plenty, but he was racking in tens of thousands of dollars less than his co-stars. Nonetheless, they were fairly quick to cut him to escape the controversy which wasn’t yet proven in the courts.

No one was wrong to believe the victim, and there’s a strong possibility that he lied. However, the police department that charged him has lied and covered up worse, so as far as track record, who can be trusted? Smollett’s possible lies, nonetheless, distract from actual attacks and derail real threats. There are now over 1,000 hate groups active in the US, and hate crimes are on the rise.


the NYT's podcast Still Processing is one of my favorites & has great insight on this case

Just because Smollett’s fabrication might not be factual, doesn’t discount that his “attack” faces folks every day — from the minor end of the spectrum to just as violent and hateful as Smollett described.

There’s an obvious bias and misfocus concerning this attack. The police chief summed it up best at the very beginning of his press release — “I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got as much attention.” It’s time to focus ours elsewhere, and in future situations wait until all information is out before making assumptions (and not discount non-famous folk’s struggles along the way).