Should we forgive Jussie Smollett? | The Tylt

Should we forgive Jussie Smollett?

Jussie Smollett, best known for his role on "Empire," recently turned himself in to Chicago Police after being charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a fake police report about being attacked by MAGA supporters in what many believed was a racist, homophobic attack. Smollett allegedly orchestrated the attack with help of his hired assailants—the Osundairo brothers—over alleged frustration over his "Empire" salary. While many are condemning Smollett for the setting back both black and LGBTQ relations in America, others argue it's a cry for help. With an apology and reformed actions, does he deserve another chance?

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Entertainment Weekly broke down the details of the hate crime hoax starting on Monday, Jan. 21. Check out the timeline of unraveled events here.

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Many critics agree with journalists Van Jones and Robin Roberts in that Smollett's hate crime hoax is a setback for both black people and LGBTQ people, but most specifically, queer people of color. According to Deadline, Roberts said:

“I cannot think of another case where there is this anger on so many sides, and you can understand why there would be,” Roberts said on the ABC show this morning. Her assessment came shortly after Smollett’s arrest on a felony charge of filing a false police report.
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The Smollett news is disheartening and infuriating to many. But many Black LGBTQ commentators and journalists have vehemently expressed that, on one hand, Smollett should be held accountable if everything turns out to be true. But they have also expressed that there are black trans and queer people who face discrimination and violence, and we should believe survivors. One hoax does not change that. 

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While many are hurt over what Smollett has allegedly done, marganized people of color typically don't get sympathy when "they mess up," and some believe Smollett deserves help and a second chance. Blog Celeb Hood argues that Smollett's alleged fake assault is a cry for help and that—if all is true—he deserves sympathy, not condemnation.

But this was much bigger than a salary dispute. Smollett’s alleged stunt was a poorly planned cry for help from a man with an admitted drug problem who is obviously dissatisfied with his life and career, and perhaps is in the throes of a major mental health emergency. Besides sympathy, Smollett had nothing to gain from this alleged hoax and the only difference between him and the millions of Americans struggling with their mental health is that he had a platform to project his alleged victim fantasy to the world.
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CNN journalist Don Lemon argues, if true, Smollett needs to own up to his actions. According to Yahoo News:

“It’s hard to see how this would indeed be a set-up,” Lemon said. “I say if it is true, confess. Throw yourself on the mercy of the court, and of the people, and then see where that leads you.”
FINAL RESULTS
Entertainment
Should we forgive Jussie Smollett?
#ForgiveJussie
A festive crown for the winner
#ForgetJussie