Trevor Noah Points Out The ‘Silver Lining’ In Jussie Smollett’s Arrest

Film/TV Editor
02.22.19

Following Empire star Jussie Smollett’s arrest on a felony claim for filing a false police report, the FOX series has removed him from this season’s final episodes. While reports about several cast members who want him fired circulate, it’s worth circling back to Thursday night’s episode of The Daily Show, in which Trevor Noah reacted to the arrest. The host previously (and bluntly) assessed that Smollett’s “story just doesn’t make sense.” Noah still feels that way, wondering how “this dude may have faked a hate crime, just to get a raise? I don’t understand, like, what’s the logic there?”

The host continued while explaining that there’s a shred of positivity to be found in Smollett’s arrest. That is to say, no one’s winning when it comes to this story, but at least there’s been a shift with people focusing upon the actor and singer’s actions and character, rather than the alternative:

“Members of the gay community are emotionally terrorized over something that turned out to be a hoax; Trump supporters are upset about being falsely accused; and Democratic candidates are tying themselves in knots trying to walk back their initial statements calling this a modern-day lynching … Nobody won, but there is a silver lining: When this started out, it was a story about people who hated Jussie Smollett because he was black and gay. But now, people hate him because he’s an a-hole. In other words, they’re judging him on the content of his character, and not the color of his skin — and that, my friends, is progress.”

Indeed, it’s not the incarnation of progress that many would hope for, but nonetheless, it’s a development. As for Smollett, his bond hearing resulted in a $100,000 bail setting, along with the surrender of his passport. He’s been charged with disorderly conduct over the allegedly false report about a homophobic and racial attack, which he claims took place in late January in Chicago. Via a statement, he now “feels betrayed” and maintains that the Chicago PD’s press conference was “an organized law enforcement spectacle.”

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