Further adding insult to injury, alleged hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett remains nominated for the 2019 NAACP Image Awards that is scheduled for this coming Saturday, reports USA Today.
"This is the fourth consecutive year Smollett has been nominated in the Image Awards' Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category," reports the outlet. "He previously won in that category in 2017 and has also nabbed three different music-related Image Awards for his work on 'Empire, according to IMDb."
Smollett has attended the last three NAACP image award shows. This year the event will be hosted by "Blackish" star Anthony Anderson, who told Variety he hopes to see the alleged hate hoaxer give a speech, admitting he's happy that "the system worked for him."
"I hope he wins," Anderson said. "I’m happy for him that the system worked for him in his favor because the system isn’t always fair, especially for people of color. So I’m glad it worked out for him."
“It’s not my place or any other person’s place to judge him or what not, but I’m glad he’s nominated," Anderson continued. "I hope he wins because I’d be interested to hear his speech.”
After prosecutors in Chicago dropped all charges against Smollett, the "Empire" actor maintained that he had been truthful about his attack at the hands of MAGA Trump supporters; current evidence indicates the attack may have been carried out by two brothers of Nigerian descent, whom Smollett allegedly paid to stage the crime.
"I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since Day 1," Smollett said earlier this week. "It’s been an incredibly difficult time. One of the worst of my entire life. … Now I would like nothing more than to just to get back to work and get on with my life."
Anthony Anderson's admittedly irreverent attitude over Smollett's alleged faked hate crime and the pain it has caused is, unfortunately, not a fringe thought. In fact, portions of the "Empire" cast along with the show's writers have openly supported Smollett throughout this controversy.
"I'm happy that the truth has finally been set free, because I knew it all along," actress Taraji P. Henson told USA TODAY on Tuesday. "We're all happy for him, and thank God the truth prevailed."
"I know him and I know his track record," Henson continued. "I'm not going to jump on clickbait just because someone says something derogatory about a person I know and love. I'm not easily swayed like that. Those little clickbait (reports) weren't enough to deter me from his immaculate track record. I know the type of activism this young man does in his community, I know that he's a giver – he's not an attention-seeker. When I know someone, there's nothing you can say to make me flip on them, and that's what we miss in this world. We need people that stand by us. Whatever happened to that? Why are we so easy to believe strangers over people we know?"
Not every black celebrity holds Smollett in high regard. After Chicago prosecutors dropped the charges against Smollett, basketball icon Charles Barkley said everybody lost something, predicting serious repercussions would come about.
"I think that we all lose. I think my black friends, my gay black friends, I think they lose because there’s all repercussions when you’re a minority. There’s always a double standard. You have to understand that and accept that. For every black, gay person out there, we lost. And it’s unfortunate," Barkley said on Wednesday. "I don’t know that kid, I wish him nothing but the best ... but you always have to look at the bigger picture."