NEW YORK (AP) — Notable reaction to the arrest of Jussie Smollett:
— “I consider him a friend. I love him and regardless of if it’s true or not, I’m still going to be here for him, I’m not throwing them away. I hate the situation but I don’t hate the person.” — Singer-songwriter and reality star Kandi Burruss, at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards luncheon in Los Angeles.
“I think I’m with a lot of people where we don’t know what to think about the whole situation. I think a lot of us are just confused and not sure and are just waiting for more information, or like whatever the truth is to actually come out because no matter which way it goes, it’s not good for anybody involved. So we just want the truth and justice to be served all around.” — Actress Yvonne Orji, at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards.
— “Like most of you, I’ve seen the reports about Jussie Smollett, and I’m sad, frustrated, and disappointed. When anyone makes false claims to police, it not only diverts resources away from serious investigations but it makes it more difficult for other victims of crime to come forward. At the same time, we must speak the truth: hate crimes are on the rise in America.” — California Sen. Kamala Harris, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, via Facebook.
— “I’m lost for words. To stoke fears and raise racial tensions is wrong in every situation on ALL SIDES! Yet my prayers are still with him and his family and our Nation. CAN WE PLEASE STOP THE HATE!” — Actor, director and writer Tyler Perry, in part, via Facebook.
— ”.@JussieSmollett – what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA” — President Donald Trump, via Twitter.
— “I love Jussie. Let me tell you something, for the past 29 years I’ve been producing the longest consecutive running musical AIDS benefit in the country, Divas Simply Singing. One year, it almost didn’t happen. Jussie Smollett wrote the $10,000 check that put me over the line to have that show. This is a difficult time for him but at his core, he is a good human being, who has made a bad choice, poor choice, and I don’t know who helped him make that poor choice but I’m not going to drag him. I’m not going to give up on him. I’m still going to love him because I remember the good he did for me.” — Actress-singer Sheryl Lee Ralph, at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards.
— “I’ve been vocal about this situation & my love for Jussie & his entire family. I will continue to hope for the best for everyone involved as things continue to unfold. And I, like all of you, will watch them unfold. But believing victims is always the right choice. Always.” — Actress Yvette Nicole Brown, via Twitter.
— “My head is exploding this morning. I have to get off Twitter. This story is pathetic. All of it.” — TV host Andy Cohen, via Twitter.
— “The world has plenty of real monsters. You don’t have to make up any. And what for? Just further dividing people for personal gain? It sucks for the people who actually have to deal with that type of hate.” — Actor O’Shea Jackson Jr., in part, via Twitter.
— “If you think Jussie Smollet having himself beat up is more concerning than a Trump-radicalized white nationalist with a weapons cache drawing up a list of Americans to kill, then you’re more confused than Jussie Smollet having himself beat up.” — Actor Jeffrey Wright, via Twitter.
— “You know what is most disturbing about this entire incident — we fail to understand that hate crimes have gone up over the last few years. While @JussieSmollett sort out his story, I will continue to speak up and denounce all forms of bigotry and discrimination.” — Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile, via Twitter.
— “I have promised myself, since the election, that I would not have knee-jerk reactions to anything. You know, I’m waiting, I’m waiting to see, it breaks my heart, either way it breaks my heart. So, we’ll see. I’m just heartbroken. So we’ll see. We shall see.” — Actor-singer Billy Porter, at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards.