AIC students weigh in on Jussie Smollett’s predicament


Tsulufelo Scrivens, Staff Writer

Jussie Smollett, one of the main actors in the Empiretelevision series, has been the subject of much publicity since he was assaulted in Chicago on January 29, 2019. He went from the victim of a racial and homophobic attack to facing criminal charges of arranging – and paying for – his own attack.

Smollett is out on bail, and has been released from his duties on the popular show.

At AIC, students have mixed opinions.

Sophomore Kyle Brown said he is upset with Smollett.

“It’s like the boy who cries wolf,” Brown said. “He supposedly did it because he was being written off the show.  The fact that it is not true is demoralizing.”

Freshman Shane O’Brien agreed.

“My opinion on the Smollett case is the way he played out his attack on himself was very predictable because he paid to two random people money to attack him.  It looked really fake,” O’Brien said.

But junior Justin Leaphart begged to differ with Brown and O’Brien.

“As racial issues still run rampant in this country, using it as a way for financial profit is unacceptable. Ultimately, his career is tarnished and has negatively affected those people he is dealing with these issues on a daily basis,” said Leaphart.

Details of Smollett’s predicament are:

Two masked men were captured on surveillance video following Smollett and yelling racial and homophobic slurs prior to the attack.  During the brutal, racially motivated attack, tied a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him while saying that this is MAGA country.

The Chicago Police Department takes all attacks, especially those that seem to racially motivated, very seriously.  They investigated the case and found information on the two masked men.  The police spoke with two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo.

Once they spoke with the two brothers, the Chicago Police investigation changed the focus of their investigation.  Their focus changed from a possible hate crime to filing a false police report.

As the information began to unfold, the police believed Smollett was lying about the attack.  The two brothers, one of whom was a close friend of Smollett’s, produced the check for $3500 they received from Smollett to pay for the attack on himself.

They also reviewed the racially charged letter that Smollett allegedly sent to himself on the set of Empire.  The police also reported that the two brothers were cooperating with police during the investigation.

Chicago Police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson, recently had a news conference concerning the surprising developments in this case. He was disappointed that Smollett appeared to have faked his own hate crime.

Smollett turned himself into the Chicago Police. He was placed in custody and is facing felony charges for disorderly conduct and for filing a false police report.

The judge set Smollett’s bond for $100,000. Smollett posted bail for $10,000 and was released until his trial.

If convicted of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report, he faces three years in prison. The police are also looking into mail fraud charges.  Smollett allegedly sent a hate letter to the Empiremovie set which was laced with a white powdery substance and contained MAGA slurs.  If convicted of mail fraud, he will face up to 10 years in prison.

By updating the case with Smollett, it is expected that he will not be serving any jail time by an updated investigation.

Other reports are saying that Smollett will get 30 days in a county jail plus probation. According to the series, Empire, Jussie Smollett’s character will be written out of the final two episodes.Empireis holding out on Jussie Smollett to see how the case unfolds.

According to Smollett’s lawyer, Jussie Smollett still maintains his innocence and feels let down by the legal system.  Smollett believes that the legal system wants to go straight to the sentencing and avoid any more investigation into the case. By following this case, the public will be watching to see the outcome on Jussie Smollett case.