Empire is a Chicago-based TV show that centers on hip-hop music, a family-owned entertainment business, and the drama of the family as they fight for control. But now it looks like the drama of real life is eclipsing that of the show. Jussie Smollett has just been axed from Empire, and it doesn't look like he's going to be coming back any time soon.
In fact, Jussie Smollett has just been arrested and could face up to three years in prison. But does he deserve it?
Jamal Lyon let down his Empire family.Jussie Smollett has been acting since he was just 9 years old. Do any of you remember The Mighty Ducks? Well he was one of the kids in that. More recently he's garnered fame as the middle child, and openly gay son, of the hip-hop mogul, Lucious Lyon, on the show Empire.
He has been cut from the last two episodes of the season.Jussie might be well loved in the role of Jamal, but his off-screen life has become a mess. He was arrested on Wednesday after he allegedly filed a false police report. At a hearing on Thursday, he paid $10,000 as a bond and handed over his passport.
Why was Jussie arrested?
Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filin… https://t.co/mJgXyCUS1K— Anthony Guglielmi (@Anthony Guglielmi)1550710397.0
Why would he do that?Apparently Jussie was unhappy with his salary. He thought that raising his profile in this way would help him to negotiate a higher salary. Before you go feeling too sorry for him, he was being paid $65,000 per episode. As there were eighteen episodes in a series, that would be $1,170,000 for the season. It's hard to feel too bad for him when he's earned more in his five years at Empire than most of us will in a lifetime.
It wasn't just a one-time offense either.In January, Jussie had sent himself a letter to Fox studios, which contained racial, homophobic and political language. It also contained some white powder, which was later confirmed to be aspirin. Three days before the attack he said that he had received an unidentified phone call in which someone used a homophobic slur against him.
He had it all planned.On 29 January, two white men shouted racial and homophobic insults at him. They then punched him, doused him in bleach, and put a noose around his neck. Then they called out 'This is MAGA country.' When he went to see the police, he also had small cuts and bruises on his face, which the police believe were self-inflicted.
He paid two brothers to attack him.
Jussie Smollett: they beat me and poured gasoline on me and screamed “This is MAGA country” Chicago police : https://t.co/tOWXhySNnX— two of a kind (@two of a kind)1550809207.0
How did the police find out that it was a hoax?
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Jussie Smollett: "I just wish that the families of gun violence in t… https://t.co/DVYcIOgSo8— This Week (@This Week)1550855609.0
This was wrong on so many levels.
Hate crime hoaxes are incredibly rare. Of the 7,175 reported hate crimes in 2017, 23 – or 0.3 percent – were dete… https://t.co/EKXLtyQ0RP— Tess Owen (@Tess Owen)1550775586.0
He's hurt future victims of hate crimes too.
Like most of you, I've seen the reports about Jussie Smollett, and I'm sad, frustrated, and disappointed. https://t.co/91OHOymShi— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1550791386.0
Innocent until proven guilty.At the moment Jussie is still claiming his innocence, but the police seem fairly certain of their discovery. If Jussie has committed this hoax, he could face up to 3 years in prison, and it would be hard to argue against that. On the other hand, the police hasn't always treated black people entirely fairly.
The jury is still out.On the other hand, there is a huge discrepancy between the ways that people are treated based on their race. Ryan Lochte claimed that he was beaten up while he was in Brazil. Although it wasn't explicitly a hate crime, he was trying to suggest that an entire nation was dangerous.
Does the colour of Jussie Smollett's skin affect his case?
Are you made Jussie Smollett wasted police resources? Do you think there should be high penalties for false crime r… https://t.co/d7cY9vITWI— take care of yourself (@take care of yourself)1550766045.0