As the alleged hate crime against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett continues to implode, with more and more evidence indicating he hired Nigerian actors to stage a hoax crime, CNN reports that the actor's siblings are playing denial games by blaming the media for the sudden change of events.
Writing on their Instagram, Smollett's sister, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and his brother, Jocqui Smollett, shared quotes from Malcolm X warning that the media has the power to make the innocent look guilty.
"This is the media, the irresponsible media," the post said. "It will make the criminal look like he's the victim and make the victim look like he's the criminal. If you aren't careful, the media will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing."
"This is the media, the irresponsible media," the posting said. "It will make the criminal look like he's the victim and make the victim look like he's the criminal."
Both Smollett siblings later shared a tweet in support of their brother Jussie, which said that people would still disbelieve him even if definitive evidence proved he endured a hate crime.
"I have a feeling even if we had video of Jussie (Smollett) being attacked...y'all would still discredit him," the tweet read. "Because it's easier to believe what aligns with your contempt for survivors of hate crimes, sexual abuse, etc who happen to be LGBTQ+, disabled, or women."
Despite current evidence indicating that Jussie Smollett staged the hate crime allegedly after a racist note he received did not get enough attention, the actor professed his innocence through his attorneys on Saturday. "As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with," the statement said. "He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying."
The Smollett family has supported their brother ever since the alleged hate crime was first reported, denouncing it as an act of "domestic terrorism."
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.