A Look at Jussie Smollett’s Career, on ‘Empire’ and Beyond
The “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, who was charged on Wednesday with staging a racist and homophobic assault on himself in Chicago final month, has been underneath a shiny highlight in current weeks — however maybe not for causes profession actor and singer would like.
Mr. Smollett, who’s black and overtly homosexual, reported in January that he was the sufferer of an assault throughout which masked males poured chemical substances on him and put a noose round his neck, prompting an outpouring of help from followers, activists and politicians. In a significant twist, Mr. Smollett, who’s in his mid-30s, was charged Wednesday with a felony rely of disorderly conduct in reference to the episode.
Mr. Smollett is greatest recognized for his appearing position on “Empire,” a hip-hop drama on Fox, during which he performs a son vying for the throne of his father’s music empire.
Mr. Smollett, second from left, showing in “Empire,” the hip-hop drama that airs on Fox.CreditChuck Hodes/Fox, by way of Associated Press
Growing up with 5 siblings pursuing careers in appearing, modeling and music, Mr. Smollett first appeared on the large display screen in 1992. He has landed supporting roles in a number of different movies and tv reveals since, whereas additionally starting a profession as an R&B singer.
[Here’s a timeline of what has transpired since Mr. Smollett reported the attack.]
“Empire,” which completed its fifth season final yr, follows a former drug vendor turned hip-hop mogul, Lucious Lyon, whose three sons should compete to run his multimillion-dollar firm. Mr. Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyon, is a homosexual singer-songwriter who begins the sequence estranged from his father due to his sexuality. Mr. Smollett sings in and has written for the soundtrack of the sequence.
As a baby, Mr. Smollett landed a job within the household comedy movie “The Mighty Ducks,” a couple of lawyer who should coach a youth hockey group after he was sentenced to neighborhood service. Two years later, Mr. Smollett starred with 5 of his brothers and sisters in an ABC sitcom referred to as “On Our Own,” about siblings who’re orphaned after their dad and mom die in a automobile accident.
Mr. Smollett on the set of the 2017 sci-fi thriller “Alien: Covenant.”CreditTwentieth Century Fox, by way of Alamy
Mr. Smollett’s youthful sister, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, has grown as much as make her mark within the appearing world as properly. She is among the leads in “Underground,” a WGN America present a couple of group of slaves who attempt to escape from their Georgia plantation. Mr. Smollett is a visitor star on the present.
In 2017, Mr. Smollett appeared within the science-fiction thriller “Alien: Covenant.” That yr, he additionally performed Langston Hughes within the movie “Marshall,” a biopic about Thurgood Marshall, the primary African-American Supreme Court justice.
Mr. Smollett and his siblings have been outspoken politically and dedicated to causes like H.I.V./AIDS prevention and racial justice. Mr. Smollett sits on the board of 4 charity organizations, together with the Trayvon Martin Foundation and the Black AIDS Institute, in keeping with his web site.
Mr. Smollett landed a job as a baby actor within the 1992 household comedy movie “The Mighty Ducks.”CreditDeborah Croswell/Walt Disney Pictures, by way of Alamy
Mr. Smollett additionally has a singing profession separate from “Empire.” In March, he launched a 10-song R&B album. Days after he reported the assault, Mr. Smollett carried out for a sold-out crowd in West Hollywood, Calif., telling his followers that he wouldn’t let his attackers win and that he “needed to be right here tonight.”
Mr. Smollett instructed the police in January that, whereas strolling in downtown Chicago, he had been confronted by masked white males who directed homophobic and racial slurs at him and introduced it was “MAGA nation,” a reference to President Trump’s marketing campaign slogan.
As Mr. Smollett has confronted questions on whether or not his hate crime report was truthful, he has continued to insist that the incident occurred simply as he reported it.
In a press release launched by Fox on Wednesday, earlier than the Chicago police labeled Mr. Smollett a suspect within the case, the community stated his character was not being written out of “Empire” in response to the police’s announcement that the trajectory of the investigation had modified, opposite to stories from a number of information shops. Fox later declined to remark after Mr. Smollett was charged.
On Wednesday evening, following his indictment, his attorneys stated in a press release, “Like some other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, notably when there was an investigation like this one the place info, each true and false, has been repeatedly leaked.”