Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Rock Slams Jussie Smollett: 'What The Hell Was He Thinking?'

March 31, 2019 - 12:02 pm

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett did not attend the NAACP Image Awards this weekend in Los Angeles, but that didn’t stop one presenter from invoking his name.

Actor-comedian Chris Rock slammed Smollett before presenting the award for outstanding comedy series (ABC's "black-ish” won).

"They said no Jussie Smollett jokes," Rock said, according to the Associated Press’s coverage of the Saturday event.

"Yeah, I know, but what a waste of light skin,” Rock continued. “Do you know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair, my career would be out of here. I would be running Hollywood. What the hell was he thinking? You are known as 'Jessie' from now on. You don't even get the 'u' no more. That 'u' was respect. You ain't getting no respect from me."

Smollett had been accused of faking a hate-crime attack on himself in Chicago to draw attention, and Cook County prosecutors abruptly dropped charges against him last week as part of an “alternative disposition” to his case. The polarizing decision drew fire from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose administration sent Smollett a bill for more than $130,000 for the police investigation.

Related: Sharpton Sides With Kimberly Foxx In Smollett Case

Smollett lost to "Grey's Anatomy" star Jessie Williams in the supporting actor in a drama series category.

Responding to Rock's jokes, "black-ish" star Yara Shahidi said she supports Smollett.

"I stand with Jussie," Shahidi said.

Also taking aim at Smollett over the weekend: "Saturday Night Live." A skit on Saturday's show depicted the actor as lying about his tardiness to a meeting by explaining he'd been attacked by bigots.