How Hollywood Is Reacting To The Jussie Smollett Scandal

Photo: Jerod Harris/FilmMagic/Getty Images.
The entertainment industry rallied around Jussie Smollett in January after the Empire star claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime in Chicago. Now, after weeks of investigation by the Chicago Police Department, the story about this alleged crime has shifted — as has the attitude of Hollywood.
On Wednesday, Smollett was arrested for disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, suggesting that the actor staged the alleged attack. Should Smollett be found guilty of the crime, he could face up as much as one to three years in prison or as little as a fine.
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20th Century Fox and Fox Entertainment stood by Smollett after word of his alleged attack. The company insisted that Smollett was not being written off Empire, as some claimed was his reasoning for allegedly faking the incident.
Now, the company behind Empire said in a statement, per Deadline, "We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options."
It's unclear what these options are, but Variety reports that producers are considering suspending Smollett from Empire.
While his future on Empire hangs in the balance, Smollett's upcoming episode of Drop the Mic was already pulled from TNT, also per Variety. The previously filmed episode, set to air March 6, had Smollett battle Danielle Brooks from Orange Is the New Black.
Public perception of Smollett has changed. According to Variety, several celebrities, including Jordan Peele, Michael B. Jordan, and Nancy Pelosi, deleted their supportive messages. Many are concerned that Smollett allegedly faking his attack will call into question the real hate crimes that occur in our world.
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