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Jussie Smollett’s ‘Empire’ Co-Star Still Supports Him: ‘I Believe Him’

Gabourey Sidibe and Jussie Smollett in the 'FAIR TERMS' episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, May 9
FOX / Contributor / Getty Images
 

She's with him, even after he's been charged with a felony for possibly faking a hate crime and wasting taxpayer resources in the process.

 

"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett still has a few remaining prominent supporters. Along with his family, his co-star Gabourey Sidibe, who plays the character Becky Williams on the show, announced on Wednesday that she still believes Jussie Smollett despite the mounting evidence indicating he may have pulled off a hate hoax.

"I know him, I believe him, I stand with him," Sidibe wrote on Instagram.

Her post was accompanied with a quote from Malcolm X warning that the "irresponsible media" could make a victim seem like a criminal.

"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."

 

The Malcolm X meme has been frequently shared among Smollett's increasingly small but loyal group of supporters, who are taking his alleged hate hoax all the way into conspiracy theory territory, the very same kind that led to the acquittal of O.J. Simpson in the '90s when his lawyers claimed the LAPD may have framed him for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

One Twitter user wrote in support of Smollett: "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."

That tweet was later shared by Smollett's siblings.

"Empire" executive producer Brett Mahoney also announced he stood by Jussie Smollett over the weekend as more evidence indicated he allegedly staged a hate crime hoax. "I believe and stand by @JussieSmollett," Mahoney tweeted on Sunday night. "Keep your head up."

Later, the "Empire" writers' official Twitter account shared Mahoney's tweet in support of the actor.

 

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay ("A Wrinkle In Time") initially expressed reservations about Chicago P.D.'s claim that the investigation had shifted into whether or not Smollett paid off two Nigerian American brothers to stage the attack.

"Despite the inconsistencies, I can’t blindly believe Chicago PD," she tweeted. "The department that covered up shooting Laquan McDonald over a dozen times? That operated an off-site torture facility? That one? I’ll wait. Whatever the outcome, this won’t stop me from believing others. It can’t."

After some blowback from her Twitter followers, DuVernay clarified that Smollett "might have lied," adding that she "never believes police on general principle."

"Yessir. I hear you. And agree," she replied. "I wrote (that there) are inconsistencies. He might have lied. He might be not have. I don’t know. But what I do know? I never believe police on general principle just ‘cause they say so. My experience, our history, makes it impossible for me to do so."

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