Chris Rock slammed actor Jussie Smollett at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Awards on Saturday, declaring that the embattled Empire star had lost his respect.
Before presenting the award for Outstanding Comedy Series Rock mocked Smollett, who recently had all charges dropped against him over his alleged involvement in orchestrating a hoax hate crime against himself.
“They said no Jussie Smollett jokes,” Chris Rock said. “I know. What a waste of light skin. You know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here. Fucking running Hollywood.”
The decision to drop charges sparked outrage across the country, with considerable evidence indicating that Smollett filed a false police report in order to secure an increase on his salary on the FOX show Empire.
“What the hell was he thinking?” Rock warned. “From now on, you’re Jessie from now on. You don’t even get the ‘U’ no more. That ‘U’ was respect. You don’t get no respect from me.”
There had been speculation that Smollett might attend the awards ceremony, with host Anthony Anderson even hoping that he may win an award for his performances on Empire. However, Smollett was not present at Saturday’s event.
On Tuesday, Chicago PD Commander Ed Wodnicki described the decision to drop charges as a “punch in the gut,” revealing that law enforcement was ready to present a “rock solid case” against the FOX star. “For states attorney at this point to dismiss charges without discussing this with us at all is just shocking,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel denounced the move as a “whitewash of justice.”
“This is a person now who has not been let off scot-free with no sense of accountability of the moral and ethical wrong of his actions from top to bottom,” he said of Smollett.
The NAACP blamed blamed President Donald Trump for the hate hoax. Rahm Emanuel followed suit, saying, “The only reason Jussie Smollett thought he could take advantage of a hoax about a hate crime is for the environment, the toxic environment Donald Trump created.”