Jussie Smollett: The Court Jester in Disney's Crumbling 'Empire'

By CCN: The cast of “Empire” is asking that their “brother” Jussie Smollett be welcomed back into the cast of the Fox drama next season. Smollett had recently been written out of the current season’s finale, but his fellow actors are begging Disney to bring him back.

The alleged hate crime hoaxer remains embroiled in controversy even after a Chicago prosecutor outrageously decided to drop 16 felony charges against the actor who he potentially filed a false police report and staged a phony hate crime on himself. Smollett agreed to perform community service and part with a $10,000 bond as part of the slap-on-the-wrist agreement.

'Empire' Cast Fawns Over Jussie Smollett's 'Honesty' & 'Integrity'

“Empire” creator Lee Daniels says that Smollett’s fate on the show is “in discussion,” though several cast members, including Oscar nominees Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, wrote a letter to Disney TV Studios demanding that Smollett be allowed to keep his position on the show.

The letter – which suggests that Smollett was targeted by an “unjust” legal system – reads:

"Working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also Jussie’s personal character. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all, he is filled with integrity… We write to ask you to keep Jussie on the cast, so we can all put this behind us and move forward... It’s our hope that together, we will move into our sixth season as the entire ‘Empire’ family should."

The letter appears to describe all the virtues of an All-American boy scout. It harps on his integrity, compassion, kindness, conveniently ignoring the arrogance and other glaring vices that Smollett's legal saga has exposed.

For example, if Smollett is innocent, why would he forfeit money and agree to community service? Someone who has not committed a crime deserves no punishment, but Smollett has agreed to terms that require him to sacrifice his time, energy, and funds. He’s not being forced into this; these are terms he’s agreed to. That sounds like the equivalent of a plea deal.

Further, Chicago lawmakers are willing to go through the hassle of a civil process just to get what they feel is due justice. In this case, justice is a $130,000 check to cover the costs of investigating what they maintain was a phony case.

This has nothing to do with racism or partisan politics. In fact, ex-Obama crony and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel – who has been persistent in his attacks on Smollett’s character – has had no issue vocalizing his opposition towards President Trump, whose administration also gets no love from Smollett.

Jussie Smollett has accomplished a rare feat in contemporary American politics, bringing Donald Trump and a top Obama advisor to the same side of the table. The problem is that Smollett finds himself on the other side - all by himself.

Even Kim Foxx, the attorney general who recused herself from Smollett’s case after offering legal information to his family, admitted that he “lied to cops” in a private text message thread?

The Court Jester in Disney's Crumbling Moral Kingdom

If Disney decides to keep Smollett onboard, it will just be more proof that the entertainment conglomerate has abandoned its scruples when it comes to its precious talent.

After all, this is the same company that rehired director James Gunn for the upcoming installment of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise despite a history of hosting pedophile-themed parties and tweeting jokes about rape and 9/11.

"Empire" is just the latest casualty in Disney's crumbling moral kingdom, and Jussie Smollett is the court jester.

 

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About the author

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Nick Marinoff

Nick Marinoff has been covering the cryptocurrency and blockchain space for nearly five years. Among the publications he's worked with are Bitcoin Magazine, News BTC, Bitcoinist and Money & Tech, to name a few.

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