Robin Roberts Defends Embarrassing Jussie Smollett Interview
'Empire' star's conversation with 'Good Morning America' host helped give credibility to his story of suffering an alleged attack
One of the more embarrassing moments for the mainstream media in recent months was the softball interview of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett — who has now been charged by Chicago police with filing a false report — conducted by Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America.”
Smollett was, at the time, claiming that two white Trump supporters had attacked him and that they attempted to put a noose around his neck.
Despite numerous questions surrounding the alleged incident and the way Smollett’s own account of things changed several times, Roberts interviewed the actor. She gave him an unchallenging platform on which to ramble on and on about how racist people were for not believing him.
Cut to a few weeks later — and Smollett was in police custody for allegedly hiring two Nigerian brothers to help him stage the attack.
At The Cut’s “How I Get It Done” event in New York City on Monday, Roberts partly explained her thinking behind the fluff interview that every day makes her look worse and worse.
“I’ll be completely honest. I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to do the interview or not,’” she told The Cut. “I said, ‘I don’t want to sit down with him if he’s going to lawyer up.’”
Roberts claimed that had she known Smollett had allegedly hired two Nigerian brothers — she would have pressed him harder.
“I did the interview 48 hours before then. Had I had that information or [knew] what the brothers were alleging, heck, yeah, I would have asked him about that,” she said.
She also said that being part of the LGBTQ community put more pressure on her to treat Smollett as a victim.
“It was a no-win situation for me,” she said.
“It was one of the most challenging interviews I’ve ever had to do.”
Check out Robin Roberts’ interview with Jussie Smollet below: