Jussie Smollett Refused To Allow His ‘Empire’ Character To Date White Men

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In 2015, Fox debuted its scripted musical drama series, Empire, and has been creating storylines that push the envelope and challenge countless stereotypes, especially ones about the African-American community. The series is one of the few that currently has a black openly gay man playing a character who is also a black openly gay man on primetime television.

In the show, Jussie Smollett plays Jamal Lyon, who has had a number of love interests throughout the five seasons. In the current season, Jamal is engaged to Kai, a journalist who has been diagnosed with HIV, played by Toby Onwumere.

According to a report from the Huffington Post, Smollett, who publicly came out in 2015, was adamant that his character not get seriously involved with a white man.

While appearing on SiriusXM’s The Clay Cane Show on Wednesday, November 14, he explained why he felt the need to insist that Jamal’s latest love interest on the show be a man of color.

“There was talk about Jamal having a white boyfriend,” Smollett said. “And I said, ‘F**k no!’ Not for any reason, except we have a responsibility and we have a such a beautiful opportunity to show two black men in a relationship together, in a healthy relationship.”

Smollett went on to make it clear that he has no issues with white men, but he’s simply hoping to portray characters he wished he saw on TV as a child.

“This is what I hope, this is what I want to see and this is what I wish I had seen as a kid. If I had seen certain things as an adolescent, I would’ve had a much different understanding of who I am,” he continued.