Jussie Smollett stopped by The Breakfast Club back in May of 2018. During his visit, the Empire actor told Charlamagne, Yee, and Envy that he "can't sit by and watch bullshit happen." Following his arrest on Thursday (Feb. 21) for orchestrating a fake assault in Chicago, reportedly over an unsatisfying salary on Empire, we can't help but wonder...what changed with Jussie over the past year? Was everything else he said during his appearance on The Breakfast Club bulls**t, too? Let's revisit some of his statements from last May:
1) To me, it's cool to see that you don't have to be an asshole in order to be successful and have longevity. Somehow we have this idea that, you know, to be strong, to be powerful, to be whatever, you have to be a jerk. And to see people that are, you know, pretty good people that makes you feel better.
2) It's a difficult thing. You want to reach the masses. You want to reach our black and brown sisters and brothers. You want to be able to speak. But at the same time, it is difficult because somehow what you say can be manipulated through the media many times. We don't need all of our voices in the media. We need to be able to hear them underground sometimes. Sometimes we need to hear people speaking the truth.
3) Music is all me. It's my heart. It's very therapeutic. It's a way to, kind of, hide behind my truth in my lyrics. I don't always have to say those things because I'm hype. I'm fun. But I'm also a little bit shy and very private. It's to be able to tell the truth and talk about myself through the music.
4) It doesn't stop here. And the work doesn't stop if I'm only able to take care of myself and I'm only able to take care of my blood relatives. What happens after? What's my legacy? I don't need to get on Instagram or Twitter and announce every time [I do something]. So I will do it silently. It's not something that's done for show. Because it comes from my heart. I really genuinely mean that.
5) I can't just sit by and watch bulls**t happen and not do something, especially with the platform. I've been given a very specific platform. To represent a lot of different people. That I represent in real life. So, for that, I'm not trying to take that for granted or take that lightly and just be like 'well, I got a nice car. I got my mama a house. Who gives a f**k about you.'
6) I lead with my blackness. For that, I can't sit by and watch what's happening and just act like everything is fine because I'm on a Fox show.
7) I wanna direct. Do music and acting and writing. Things like that. And still hold onto my voice as an activist.
Charlamagne also took Jussie task when dubbing him Donkey of the Day on Thursday. "I gave him the benefit of the doubt because he's a black man and why wouldn't I believe a black man who tells me he's been the victim of a hate crime? Why wouldn't I believe a gay man who tells me he's the victim of hate crime?" he said.
"We all should've known Jussie Lyon was lying when he went onGood Morning Americaand was more upset people didn't believe him, rather than him being upset about the crime that allegedly happened to him," he continued.
"Now I know, the magic question everyone is asking is why? Why would he make something like this up? He wanted to be the gay Tupac. Jussie Lyon wanted to be a martyr," Charlamagne said. "He wanted to be a symbol of someone who stood up against hate in America. He wanted the same admiration you see Kaepernick getting for taking a knee for black people. He wanted the attention that Meek is getting for standing for the rights of those in prison. Jussie Lyon wanted to be the gay Tupac."
What do you think of this whole mess?