Jussie Smollett Stars In His Own Reality Show
Whaddya know. Looks like actor Jussie Smollett has managed to accomplish the impossible. He’s brought together Americans of all races, religions and political persuasions, to chorus in unison:
From Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel to conservative commentator Ben Shapiro to Democratic operative David Axelrod, the reaction to 16 felony charges being unexpectedly dropped against the alleged phony hate crime victim is one of stunned disbelief.
And it convinced me that if I’m ever charged with a serious crime I’m going to beg for a change of venue to Chicago.
Since the beginning of the 20th century that city has been a crockpot of corruption. A place where a well-connected crook could get away with almost anything, provided the political machine was providing the muscle.
Yet what happened in the Windy City yesterday stunned even the most cynical Chicagoans.
And it proved that a slew of felony charges can disappear without explanation as long as a conflicted Cook County prosecutor is on your side and a friendly judge is willing to take the extraordinary step of sealing your case file.
The Smollett case was a crazy Chicago miscarriage of justice that reads like a madcap story arc penned by the wacky Coen or Wayans Brothers.
It would make a terrific farce.
The victim: A minor TV star, African American and gay
The attackers: Two buff brothers from Nigeria with MAGA hats and a rope
An assortment of gullible TV talking heads: All Botox, no brains
Charles Barkley: As Himself
Mark Geragos: As Himself
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel: As Himself
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson: As Himself
A minor TV star, unhappy with his salary, decides to raise his profile by hiring his personal trainer and the trainer’s brother to mug him in a staged hate crime attack. He plans to blame the assault on a couple of white Trump supporters.
The actor leaves his apartment for a late-night snack, is mugged, breaks away from his attackers and returns home, reeking of bleach with a noose around his neck and a scratch on his forehead, while clinging bravely to his Subway sandwich.
He reports the hate crime and - overnight - the minor TV star morphs into an American martyr.
“I fought back!” he declares during a friendly TV interview, making himself into a role model for bullied gay men everywhere.
“This is America in 2019,” sighs at least one cable news blonde, after reporting that deranged white people in MAGA hats were roaming the streets of Chicago in 11-degree weather, looking for minorities to terrorize.
The story falls apart, however, when store surveillance camera footage catches the actor’s two Nigerian friends buying bleach, rope and masks.
The brothers turn themselves in and admit that the actor hired them. Oh, and that he paid them by check.
Suddenly, the minor TV star goes from hero to villain and is charged with 16 felonies over his phony hate crime.
The disgraced actor becomes a national punchline when late-night comics and celebrities such as former NBA superstar Charles Barkley relentlessly mock him.
Undeterred, the actor hires a high-profile celebrity attorney. In a stroke of extraordinary bad luck, his mouthpiece is unmasked as the co-conspirator of one of the sleaziest lawyers in the country who’s been indicted on an array of federal charges.
Just when it looks like there’s no way out for the minor TV star, Chicago prosecutors suddenly announce after an emergency hearing that all charges against him are dropped.
The actor’s lawyers proclaim his innocence. The prosecutors demur, saying the man’s good deeds are enough to get him a pass. After all, the actor never before faked a hate crime. Plus, he agreed to forfeit his $10K bond and perform two days of community service.
In the final scene we see the furious police chief sputtering about the situation. Beside him, the irate mayor of Chicago accuses the smug actor of behaving out of “self-promotion.”
“This is a whitewash of justice,” the mayor hisses, shaking his fist. “Where is the accountability?”
The actor just smiles.
Over the final credits we see the minor TV star receiving an Emmy Award, while Sinatra’s version of “Chicago” plays.
I’d buy a ticket. You?