Jussie Smollett’s clenched-fist courtroom impression of Nelson Mandela was better than anything Idris Elba did in the movie about South Africa’s great man, writes Piers Morgan.
Broadcaster and journalist Piers Morgan has taken to social media to announce new details about his upcoming TV show which will be broadcast on networks around the world, including on Sky News Australia, one year after departing Good Morning Britain. ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’ will be available to watch in Australia on Sky…
The Oscars are nearly upon us again, but we already have a winner in the Best Actor category.
Jussie Smollett’s clenched-fist courtroom impression of Nelson Mandela was better than anything Idris Elba did in the movie about South Africa’s great man.
Unfortunately for him, it didn’t come during a heroic Long Walk to Freedom, but a shameful Short Perp-Walk to Prison.
The lying, narcissistic, deluded, fame-hungry imbecile had just been sentenced to 150 days in jail after inventing a homophobic race attack on himself.
And rather than finally hold his hands up and admit to his despicably damaging deceit, Smollett decided to double down and defiantly raise one hand, Mandela-esque, to the sky as he continued playing the victim.
It was a suitably pathetic and embarrassing end to a deeply unedifying saga, best summarized by Smollett’s comical self-own as he belligerently bellowed his innocence to the extremely unimpressed judge.
“If I did this,” he screamed, “then it means I stuck my fist in the fears of black Americans in this country for over 400 years and the fears of the LGBT community.”
Well, yes, you repulsive little twerp, that’s EXACTLY what you did!
In fact, it’s hard to think of a more sickening affront to civil and gay rights than Smollett’s big fat lie.
I can remember when the story of his “attack” first broke, thinking it seemed too outrageous to be true.
That’s why, unusually, I didn’t tweet about it, even as so many other high-profile people including Joe “We are with you, Jussie” Biden and Kamala Harris rushed to offer their anguished thoughts about what the now-vice president called a “modern-day lynching.”
To my permanently suspicious news-hound nose, there was something all too convenient about a Trump-loathing yet not massively famous black actor being jumped at 2 a.m. on a Chicago street by two racist, abusive, white Trump fans in MAGA caps carrying a rope noose and a bottle of bleach.
My doubts were amplified when Smollett declined to give investigating police his phone, by the absurdly Hollywood-style death-threat letter sent to his workplace before the incident (it later emerged he’d written it to himself) and by his simpering, crocodile tear-laden performance to ABC’s Robin Roberts in which he said, with a straight face: “The problem with our country right now is that we have these fear mongrels trying to separate us.”
I smelled a giant rat, and as it quickly transpired, that giant rat was Jussie Smollett.
Yet even now, when the full details of his disgraceful hoax have been exposed to the world, there’s a willful attempt to downplay the seriousness of what he did, especially by the very black community he did so much to disgracefully disrespect.
Late night, host Trevor Noah, whose “Daily Show” regularly addresses the evils of racism, was keen to play whataboutery.
What Jussie Smollett did was dumb as hell,” he tweeted, “but it’s crazy that he’s gonna spend more time in jail than the family who are mostly to blame for America’s opioid epidemic.”
Quite what the Sackler dynasty who own Purdue Pharma, makers of OxyContin, have to do with this is anyone’s guess.
But can you imagine Mr. Noah using such a distraction tool if it had been, I don’t know, Donald Trump Jr. or Joe Rogan who had been caught fabricating a racial attack by two black men?
Samuel L. Jackson sent a letter of support to the court, pleading for mercy, saying: “Jussie has already suffered a great deal of punishment, as this situation has destroyed his existing career and impugned his reputation. Please Judge Linn, in God’s name, please save this young man and allow him to be of service.”
Hmmm, I’m all for a bit of loyalty to friends, but Smollett hasn’t just resolutely refused to admit his obvious guilt, he was also quite happy for his two pals whom he hired to take part in the fake attack to be jailed instead of him.
Black Lives Matter also backed him after the verdict, saying that “Mr. Smollett has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to helping others. Incarcerating Mr. Smollett would be solely punitive in nature. Mr. Smollett does not pose a threat to anyone.”
I thought the whole point of prison is that it’s supposed to be “punitive in nature,” and when it comes to Smollett’s threat status, anyone who can so carefully plan such a heinous, pre-meditated hoax is not someone I feel comfortable calling “safe.”
It fell to Smollett’s “Empire” screen mother, Taraji P. Henson, for the most risible defense, in which she compared his situation to that of America’s most infamous race-crime victim, declaring on Instagram: “I am not here to debate you on his innocence but we can agree that the punishment does not fit the crime. Emmett Till was brutally beat & murdered because of a lie & none of the people involved with his demise spent one day in jail.”
Emmett Till was a 14-year-old black boy abducted in 1955 and lynched by two white racists enraged by him speaking to a white woman in a store. They beat and mutilated him before shooting him in the head and sinking his body in the Tallahatchie River. An all-white jury acquitted his killers.
What happened to Emmett Till is the personification of the very worst kind of racism and racial injustice.
To invoke his name in support of a black man who made up an attack by white racists to promote himself and his career is unconscionable.
Shame on Taraji P. Henson and all those racing to spare Jussie Smollett the very least he deserves by way of punishment.
By doing what he did, he stamped on the grave of Emmett Till and did a massive disservice to all those who’ve suffered genuine racial abuse and bigotry.
Smollett doesn’t warrant our pity, but our disgust.