SNL continued the field day it has been having with Smollett’s case. In a sketch, Smollett is meeting with the network heads at Fox and Empire showrunner Lee Daniels. He shows up two hours late, claiming he was attacked again and, ultimately, gets fired.
The show shouted Smollett out two more times in “Weekend Update,” with a throwaway joke by Colin Jost and Cecily Strong as Jeanine Pirro saying Trump was going to cancel him in favor of Rosanne Barr. Okay! Can’t we cancel them both?
Earlier that night, at the NAACP Image Awards, comedian Chris Rock went against a directive not to go after Smollett while presenting an award.“They said no Jussie Smollett jokes. I know,” reported Variety, before launching into a couple of jokes. “What the hell was he thinking?” asked Rock, echoing the questions we all have. “From now on, you’re Jessie from now on. You don’t even get the ‘U’ no more. That ‘U’ was respect. You don’t get no respect from me.” The crowd’s reaction was a mix of uncomfortable laughs and straight-up laughs. Smollett was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Support Actor, Drama, which he didn’t win; he also did not attend the ceremony.
Chicago’s top prosecutor, Kim Foxx, also wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune about her office’s decision not to try Smollett’s case. She explained that although they decided not to pursue prosecution, Smollett is by no means exonerated in their investigation. In a scathing moment, Foxx explained that the evidence very much points to Smollett’s guilt. “There was considerable evidence...suggesting that portions of Smollett’s claims may have been untrue and that he had direct contact with his so-called attackers,” she wrote. “Claims by Smollett or others that the outcome of this case has ‘exonerated’ him or that he has been found innocent are simply wrong. He has not been exonerated; he has not been found innocent.”
That’s the sound of the tea kettle whistling on the stove.