Chris Rock Says Jussie Smollett Gets ‘No Respect From Me’ at NAACP Image Awards
During the show, the comic took the stage to make a joke about the Empire actor. Rock said he was told not to make jokes about Smollett, who was not in attendance at the awards show, but decided to anyway, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The comedian called Smollett "a waste of light skin," adding that he had no "respect" for him after he allegedly faked a hate crime on himself.
"They said, 'No Jussie Smollett jokes,'" Rock announced before presenting the award for Outstanding Comedy Series. "What a waste of light skin. Do you know what I could do with that light skin? The curly hair? My career would be out of here! I'd be running Hollywood."
The 54-year-old continued, "What the hell was he thinking? You're 'Jessie' from now on. You don't get the 'u' no more. That 'u' was respect. You ain't getting no respect from me!"
Smollett was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on Empire. The award went to Jessie Williams for his role on Grey's Anatomy, however.
The awards show took place less than a week after Chicago prosecutors dropped criminal charges against Smollett in an alleged hate crime against the actor. The dropped charges sparked "an active federal investigation," a source told Us Weekly. The insider claimed the investigation is an attempt to prove "whether or not foul play was involved."
"Basically, there is a probe to decide whether or not foul play was involved in his bargain with prosecutors," the source said.
Smollett was hospitalized in January after he claimed he was beaten, and had a chemical poured on him. Though he maintained that the attack was real, not staged, Smollett was named a suspect in the case and was arrested about a month after it took place. He was indicted on 16 felony counts for allegedly filing a false police report at the time. All those charges were dropped on March 26.