Opinion: Jussie Smollett’s False Attack


Jerilyn Brown

Credit: Chicago Police

Shaelyn Drost, Managing Editor

Chicago police arrested actor Jussie Smollett last week after questioning his alleged involvement in his own attack.


Smollett was charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony. Aside from legal punishment, media attention has been largely centered around the future of Smollett’s career.


After lengthy discussion, producers behind Fox’s “Empire” have decided to rightfully remove Smollett’s character of Jamal from the show after five years. The decision was made to “avoid further disruption on set,” producers said.


In January, Smollett reported an attack in which two men made both racial and homophobic obscenities, tied a rope around his neck, and eventually poured bleach on him. The case was initially investigated by police as a potential hate crime.


Immediate attention was sparked surrounding the severity and controversiality of the situation, with many emphasizing that the attackers were supporters of President Trump.


However, after an extensive investigation by Chicago Police, Superintendent Eddie Johnson alleged that Smollett paid the two men to stage the attack and “take advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.”


While the criminal and occupational consequences have been admirable, it can be argued that not enough is being done to punish Smollett’s significant falsities. Members of the black and LGBTQ+ communities both to struggle for equality, despite society continuing to lean toward a more progressive mindset.


Smollett’s involvement in the staging of his own attack, if proven true, only regresses steps taken by activists of these communities. This purposeful victimization of minorities in order to gain sympathy and promote his career only contradicts the evolving principles of recognizing the strength and perseverance of these peoples. Thus, it can be wondered why someone would disregard the pain and suffering of both peoples, and seek to manipulate the system to benefit socially.


If found guilty of his 16 felony charges, Smollett deserves the fullest extent of legal punishment for his crimes; members of both communities similarly deserve an admission of guilt as well as an apology for taking advantage of the pain endured by both groups throughout history.