Even though things have recently been hurtling downhill for Empire actor Jussie Smollett, the gay celebrity maintains a few supporters and, recently, actress and singer Queen Latifah admitted to Yahoo News that she's still siding with Smollett until she sees more evidence. No word on whether she considers the mountain of evidence alleged by Chicago Police to be legitimiate in her eyes.
Despite Smollett facing felony charges filed by the Chicago Police Department regarding an alleged “hate crime” that took place on January 29, Latifah said during a television interview that -- in this case at least -- she subscribes to the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.”
The remarks were made during an awkward discussion Latifah had with Zainab Salbi, the host of Yahoo News’ Through Her Eyes program, who asked if society should be compassionate with someone who might have fabricated an attack on himself.
Even though the guest started by replying “I’m not about to discuss Jussie Smollett,” she quickly added:
Until someone can show me some proof otherwise, I’m going with him, you know, because the guy I’ve seen has always been someone who cares about other people, who cares about others, who’s always cool and sweet. And that’s just the guy I know.
“So until I can see some definitive proof, which I haven’t seen yet, then, you know, I gotta go with him,” Latifah continued.
Salbi responded by being sympathetic to her hot take: “Justice does not apply equally in this country, and there is a racial dynamic out of it, and particularly in Chicago....How could we look, should we look at it from a racial justice lens?”
After a halting start, Latifah launched into a history lesson of claims made about the incident.
“I mean, this whole thing started off from him allegedly being attacked by some guys who appear to be white guys wearing a hat that said ‘Make America Great Again’ and yelled epithets at him and said ‘This is MAGA Country.’”
With that in mind, she added: “So how could you not look -- you know, take that into account?”
But as NewsBusters previously reported, the assertions about the assailants brandishing the Trump-related slogan were never supported from the start.
Latifah then began to acknowledge that other claims have not been proven true.
“But everything that’s happened since then, you know, has been -- ,” she stumbled. “Who knows what it is? I don’t even know what to make of it.”
“All I know is that, I hope, you know, everything works out in the end and, you know, everybody basically comes out unscathed,” the guest concluded.