Jussie Smollett case: The 'Empire' star is done and should "find a new career" says crisis management expert
Despite being acquitted of all charges for staging an anti-black, anti-gay attack on himself, Smollett's career has no scope for a comeback, Torossian told MEA WorldWide (MEAWW)
All charges against 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett, for falsely staging an attack on himself, were dropped Tuesday. His attorneys, Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a statement that Smollett's record "has been wiped clean," after he was indicted on 16 felony counts related to making a false report where he claimed that he was the target of a racial and homophobic attack by two men.
But even though Smollett has been seemingly given the clean chit, his career is not exactly at a point where he could make a comeback and expect things to be all fine and dandy, remarked crisis management expert, Ronn Torossian.
As per reports, Smollett had arranged for the two men to pretend to attack him, on account of him being both black and gay, for which he was accused on the morning of January 29 this year. Authorities believe Smollett arranged for the men to attack him as he was unhappy with his pay on the show 'Empire,' and believed this publicity stunt would help skyrocket his career.
And now, even though he has been expunged of all charges with community service, Torossian claims there are too many things unclear about his intent and the case in general, for him to return to his career in particular.
"While Jussie Smollett is out of the dog house in court, there are still too many unknowns for his reputation to recover. Frankly, the public believes he’s guilty, and a supposed 'clean' record is not convincing anyone otherwise," Torossian exclusively told MEA WorldWide (MEAWW). With more than 20 years of experience in the crisis management industry, Torossian remarked that there would still be some moiety of hope Smollett could cling on to, about redeeming his career after this disgraceful stunt, but he quashed all of that by not being apologetic about the incident since the beginning.
"I’ve helped celebrities bounce back from these types of situations—it’s definitely possible," shared Torossian, adding, "However, Smollett has exhausted all of his options and is a case study for what not to do in crisis PR. If he had come out and apologized from the beginning, maybe this would be a whole different story. However, he fed the media and the public a constant stream of lies and falsehoods, and now his career is over because of it. A huge problem for Smollett is that he managed to aggravate pretty much everyone. He touched on racial, political and sexual lines. Democrats and Republican alike will agree that this guy has done irreparable damage. Everyone is on the same page, besides Smollett himself."
Torossian also drew a striking comparison between Smollett's accusation, and the O.J. Simpson case, where the NFL player was acquitted of all charges against him for murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman.
In what was one of the most sensationalized cases in America, Simpson found the entire world turning against him when charges were pressed in June, 1994, after Nicole and Goldman were found stabbed to death in her house. But Simpson miraculously managed to get acquitted, even though the crime remains unsolved to this day, despite substantial proof suggesting he was guilty.
"Similar to O.J Simpson, Smollett was not found guilty in court, but he will never be able to win back public opinion," says Torossian. At the same time, he also added, "I do not believe the future holds any success for him in this industry." Stating how Smollett could take his journey forward given the current circumstances, Torossian shared, "If he (Smollett) came to me for advice, I would tell him to find a new career. There is no producer or agent who will want to take on this type of headache."