Many people would think that a person wishing to clear their name of any wrongdoing would be more than willing to go to the ends of the earth to be certain that people know they’re telling the truth. Jussie Smollett wouldn’t even hand over his cellphone to officers to verify the information they needed to further the case. Let’s be fair here and say that had Smollett really been attacked that it’s likely he wouldn’t have gotten away with a string around his neck, a couple of superficial bruises, and an ‘unknown chemical’ tossed on him in a manner that might have damaged his clothes but did nothing else to him. When was the last time a genuine hate crime went down this way? A lot of those that think they’re capable of hate crimes might talk a great game and do nothing, but those that are truly motivated enough to assault someone aren’t going to stop laying the boots to them until they aren’t moving, and Smollett was, according to video clips and statements, just fine if somewhat shaken after the encounter. As Jeremy Dick of TVWeb has said the man is innocent until proven guilty, but at this point it’s hard to think that Smollett is really as innocent as he professes. Much like Colin Kaepernick with the NFL he appears to have become trapped by his own actions and words and is now having to play them out to see how far he can take this matter.
Smollett still has plenty of supporters that are willing to hear him out and believe him, but right here and now it’s worth saying that even if he is ruled innocent, which would be amazing at this point, there will be no apology from a lot of people. Why you ask? That’s pretty simple really, because he felt the need to drag the matter out in a way that has included far too many hours spent by police in trying to crack his case, he’s been less than helpful during the investigation no matter what anyone says, and the press that he’s received for this, good and bad, is enough to keep him in the news and keep his name on the lips of many people as folks try to figure out which side of the issue they want to find themselves on. At this point it’s painting Smollett as a glory hound and many would be right to do since he’s getting more press at this point than he really deserves. Anastasia Tsioulcas of NPR has her own opinion on the matter. It’d be easier if his career was tanking before the incident since it would once again line up with the Kaepernick model since the former quarterback saw his career going down the tubes and did something to get as much attention as he could again, but Smollett was reportedly doing just fine before he decided to stage an incident such as this (get over it, a true hate crime would have him in the hospital).
There are plenty of reasons that people don’t believe Jussie Smollett and they tend to vary from one person to the next. The ‘outpouring’ of emotion that he’s given throughout this ordeal is hard to believe for many folks and it’s because he’s an actor, plain and simple. Like so many of his peers he plays to the camera on a regular basis and as a result it’s very difficult for the average person to tell when an actor is being sincere and when they’re playing something up to work the sympathetic nature of the audience they’re trying to convince. That’s what it appears to be with Smollett since in each and every interview he’s given thus far it feels like an act, like a mask that’s being put on to convince the crowd and to remind them that he’s the victim when in truth he’s the con artist that’s trying to make them believe otherwise. The fact that the two Nigerian brothers he hired gave him up should have been more than enough to nail him for this egregious waste of time, but so far the cops had to drop the case at one point and Smollett had to do…wait for it….16 HOURS of community service. A lot of us probably had do to more than that during our senior year of high school for a senior project, depending on your school. To think that a person, an actor, could get away with something like this and not be penalized as the average person would is one more reason why a lot of people gladly distrust and routinely mock the acting community since in reality they might just be people, but they’re people that make a living by pretending and playacting, and some of them are quite good at it. Deroy Murdock of the National Review has more to say on this. The unfortunate part is that there are times, such as now, when that act is just too good and convinces enough people that they’re innocent of whatever they’re being charged with.