Several celebrities have expressed their support toward Empire star Jussie Smollett after prosecutors dropped all of his charges.
The actor, who was accused of staging his own hate crime by the Chicago Police Department, was able to see his record cleared after all charges against him were dropped by the prosecution office. In the wake of the shocking news on Tuesday, many A-listers took to social media to express their opinions, whether they were celebrating or questioning the prosecutors’ decision. During the turmoil, which dominated the headlines across the United States in January and February, quite a few people stood by Smollett’s side — including director Ava DuVernay.
As reported by The Daily Mail, DuVernay, who had previously shown her support for the actor, as well as her disregard for the Chicago PD, made sure to reiterate her point of view once the news were announced.
“I’ll just put this right here,” she wrote on Twitter, reposting a tweet she had published on February 17 that read: “Despite the inconsistencies, I can’t blindly believe Chicago PD. The department that covered up shooting Laquan McDonald over a dozen times? That operated an off-site torture facility? That one? I’ll wait.”
Roots frontman Questlove also celebrated the news on Twitter by sharing a link to an article about Smollett’s charges being dropped alongside the caption “TOLD YALL.” While none of his Empire co-stars has publicly spoken since the decision was announced, the show’s writers hinted out at his return to the show, which saw audience numbers drop following the scandal. They tweeted out a screengrab from CNN announcing the news with the caption, “See y’all Wednesday,” along with a winky face, in reference to the day that the series airs on Fox.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel torches Jussie Smollett:
"[He's] still saying that he is innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department"
"How dare he! How dare him!"
"[He's] been let off scot-free, with no sense of accountability of the moral and ethical wrong of his actions" pic.twitter.com/WAdIXZxXoG
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 26, 2019
Producer JaNeika James also showed her support for the actor on Instagram, writing “WE LOVE YOU JUSSIE!!! Thank you for ALWAYS standing in your truth,” while executive producer Diane Ademu-John pointed out that Smollett was a “truly good person” who had been “dragged through the gutter” during the whole ordeal. “Make no mistake, damage was done,” she added.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 26, 2019
The show’s runners, including creator Lee Daniels, had previously said that the actor would not be appearing in the current season’s final two episodes in a bid to prevent “further disruption” on set as the legal process played out. Smollett, who always maintained that he had been a victim of a hate crime while making his way home in Chicago at night, saw his life turned upside down when the Chicago Police Department accused him of orchestrating the attack.