When black comedian Chris Rock got ready to take to the stage at the 2019 NAACP awards, he was reportedly instructed to not tell jokes about Jussie Smollett, whose claims of being the victim of a hate crime attack are widely doubted.
Rock ignored those instructions and even refused to call Smollett by his correct first name because he said he’d lost his respect for the “Empire” actor.
Then on Monday, comedian Tracy Morgan went against the grain as well and mocked Smollett’s story during an appearance (PARENTAL WARNING: Dirty jokes) on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Morgan claimed he’d been given a role on “Empire” and said “contractually, they gave me a million dollars and, contractually, all I have to do is fake a hate crime.”
The audience laughed and howled in response.
When asked by Fallon if he didn’t buy Smollett’s story, Morgan replied, “Nah, man! First of all, racist people don’t be jumping nobody in the ‘polar vortex.’ It’s too cold. You be racist in the spring.”
“Racists don’t be watching ‘Empire,’” he also said. “There was like 10 seconds of [security camera] footage, and he then disappears for like two seconds, and then he reappears with a noose on his neck still holding the Subway sandwich. He didn’t let that Subway sandwich go.”
Morgan spoke more seriously to “Today” show hosts Hoda Kobt and Willy Geist, telling them, “I just thought what [Smollett] did was wrong. People could get hurt. How are Chicago Police going to respond to those types of calls anymore.”
“That wasn’t cool.”
Smollett maintains that he’s innocent.
In related news, the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago held a protest outside Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’ office on Monday, according to Fox News. Chicago Police, as well as Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have been outraged by a decision by Foxx’ office to drop 16 felony charges against Smollett in exchange for him forfeiting his $10,000 bond.
The prosecutor put in charge of the case even acknowledged that he thinks Smollett is guilty of lying to the police about the attack, yet he’s defended his decision to let him go free and have the case sealed.
Supporters of Smollett joined activist Rev. Jesse Jackson in counter-protesting in support of Foxx.
Activist Rev. Al Sharpton also defended Foxx, according to the Chicago Tribune, and implied that Emanuel and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson are attacking Foxx for purely political reasons.