'Black-ish' star Anthony Anderson wants Jussie Smollett to win at NAACP Image Awards
As Smollett is nominated for the 2019 NAACP Image Awards, six-time host and 'Black-ish' star Anthony Anderson said he hopes to see the controversial actor win the award
While controversial TV star Jussie Smollett is nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his role on 'Empire', it is unclear if he will attend the Saturday event at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood amid the ongoing backlash over his widely slammed alleged hate crime hoax.
Nonetheless, longtime host Anthony Anderson hopes the actor will make an appearance and win the accolade, Variety reports.
Speaking to the outlet during a preview of the awards show, the 'Black-ish' star said he "hoped to see him" at the event. “I hope he wins. I’m happy for him that the system worked for him in his favor because the system isn’t always fair, especially for people of color," he said.
“So I’m glad it worked out for him,” Anderson continued. “It’s not my place or any other person’s place to judge him or what not, but I’m glad he’s nominated…I hope he wins because I’d be interested to hear his speech.”
The Image Awards is being held for the first time at the Dolby, the home of the Oscars, on its 50th anniversary.
“I think it’s grown every year and this is the culmination of that growth,” Anderson said. “When I took over six years ago I always wanted to move it from its location to the Dolby Theater. And here we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NAACP Image Awards as I envisioned it. I couldn’t think of a better place, a better venue, a better moment in time to celebrate the 50th year.”
Addressing reporters after the charges were dropped, Smollett said, “I have been truthful and consistent on every single level since Day 1. It’s been an incredibly difficult time. One of the worst of my entire life. But I am a man of faith and I am a man that has knowledge of my history and I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this, I just wouldn’t. Now I would like nothing more than to just to get back to work and get on with my life."
However, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a different story to tell during a joint press conference later that day, USA Today reports.
"This is a whitewash of justice," Emanuel said, criticizing prosecutors and upholding allegations of Smollett's guilt. "It’s Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax. He’s still saying he's innocent, still running down the Chicago Police Department. How dare he? How dare he? It is wrong. Full stop."
“At the end of the day, Mr. Smollett committed this hoax,” Superintendent Johnson said. "Do I think justice was served? No. What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology."