“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett could be headed to prison as a result of his alleged hate crime hoax on January 29.
The Chicago Police Department believes Smollett paid two Nigerian brothers he knew to stage an attack on him; initially, he claimed he was assaulted by two white men wearing Make America Great Again hats in the early morning.
The actor said he was walking home from Subway in subzero weather when the men, carrying a noose and bleach, found him and yelled, “This is MAGA Country!” during the attack. After a police investigation into the matter, Smollett is now being charged with filing a false police report and disorderly conduct.
Some might wonder why Smollett wanted to paint supporters of President Donald Trump as perpetrators of a hate crime against him in the first place. Although he has yet to admit his motive, it is clear he’s no fan of the president.
Here are five times Smollett shared anti-Trump statements that look even more ridiculous now.
1.) “He’s a pig, a racist, a horrible human being.” Smollett made clear where he stands (or doesn’t) when it comes to players kneeling for the national anthem in the NFL — and he took a shot at President Trump for disagreeing with him.
Smollett supported Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem — and he was unhappy the president wanted players to stand for the American flag.
In September 2017 on Sirius XM Progress Radio, Smollett said of Trump, “He’s a pig, a racist, a horrible human being. To me, Colin Kaepernick is very patriotic. He’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing as a citizen of this country. If anything, sadly, the person who was falsely elected to be president of the United States is actually the least patriotic person that we’ve seen in a long time.”
It’s unclear what Smollett meant by “falsely elected.”
2.) “I’m embarrassed for our nation.” In March 2016, well before Trump won the presidential election, Smollett was already in anti-Trump mode.
He told HuffPost at the time, “I think that [Trump] is truly one of the worst people that has ever walked the face of this planet. I’m so emotional about it because I feel it so deeply. And I’m also ashamed. I’m embarrassed for our nation, that we allowed someone like this to get so far.”
Clearly irked by Rev. Billy Graham’s Trump endorsement, he added, “So now you’re going to tell me that you’re going to bring God into this situation and you’re going to make it seem like God has chosen Donald Trump. So you in turn are getting a fascist dictator to come into the United States of America, and you’re gonna tell me that this doesn’t feel like the beginning of the Third Reich?”
Yes. He really did try comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler.
During the same interview, Smollett also ripped Trump supporters. He said, “And for everybody that is supporting Trump: F*** are you thinkin’ about? Why the f***?”
3.) “I pray we aren’t this dumb.” Shortly after Smollett compared Trump to Hitler, he went after Trump supporters once again on March 21, 2016.
This time, it was on Twitter. The actor tweeted, “The Trump way of campaigning … Take a pile of bulls*** lies, sprinkle a drop of truth on top & call it ‘FACT.’ I pray we aren’t this dumb.”
Smollett insulted the more than 62 million Americans who voted the president into the White House.
4.) “Build the wall. It will keep us from loving each other.” In March 2017, Smollett released an anti-Trump song called, “FUW” (F***ed Up World). He littered the music video with liberal talking points, including abortion support (a sign that read, “My body, my rights”), a Trump mask being crushed, opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and more.
The initial press release for the music video said it aimed to call out the “race-baiting, bigotry and xenophobia of the current administration,” NBC reported.
Here are two verses from the song that exemplify its political messaging: “Why are we back in the past? It’s the same script, different cast. All of these alternative facts. Catch me outside, how about that? Why is it so hard to keep hope? Who got that popular vote? Was the whole thing just a joke? Was the whole thing just one big joke?”
And this: “Build a wall. It will keep us from loving each other. Rewrite the laws. It won’t keep us from loving each other. Build a wall (Build a wall). It will keep us from loving each other (never gonna build a wall).”
The outro of the song is compromised of the word “resist” repeated several times.
5.) “F*** Donald Trump.” In February 2018, Smollett posted a photo of himself on Instagram wearing a white T-shirt with an American flag on it and the text, “F*** Donald.”
The caption on the photo in which he appeared to be cooking read, “Made a bomb vegetable stir fry last night #MyWoksNameIsWanda #NoIAintLit #TheOnlyDonaldWeF***WithIsGloverAndDuck.”
When asked about the photo by BET in April 2018, he replied, “It says how I feel.” He also reiterated, “The only Donald we claim is Glover and Duck” — and then started singing the words, “F*** Donald Trump.”
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Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.