Appearing at the NAACP Image Awards, Chris Rock was explicitly told not to speak of the Jussie Smollett case. But like most comedians there appears to be a missing filter, and taking to the stage last Friday, the personality took the opportunity to rip on the disgraced actor – hard.
Nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Empire, it was hard to avoid talk on the recent scandal, but Rock wasn’t holding back.
“They said no Jussie Smollett jokes. I know. What a waste of white skin. You know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here. F–king running Hollywood,” Rock joked. “What the hell was he thinking?” Rock continued. “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.”
Held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, earlier in the evening producer and actress Lena Waithe contrastingly defended Smollett. She justified his recent actions which included allegedly faking a homophobic attack, saying, “being queer and black is like having a target on your back every time you walk out the door.”
Despite a slew of backlash from members of the public and the media, last week the charges against him were dropped.