The NAACP Image Awards were full of fantastic moments and the brightest stars of Black Hollywood celebrated a whirlwind year of #BlackExcellence. When Chris Rock hit the stage, he couldn’t help but go in on Jussie Smollett and the ongoing controversy surrounding the EMPIRE star despite warnings to leave him out of his set.
— TV One (@tvonetv) March 31, 2019
Yara Shahidi took time to shout out the actor when she took the stage alongside her black-ish cast mates when the show won Outstanding Comedy Series.
“I stand with Jussie,” she said. “And we don’t integrate, we recreate.”
Jussie Smollett was a no-show at the annual awards show where he was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a TV Drama for his role on EMPIRE, but lost to Jessie Williams of Grey’s Anatomy.
According to ABC News, Smollett had flown out to Los Angeles on Wednesday, sparking rumors he might be in attendance at the awards show, but skipped the Friday night dinner where his award was presented.
While Smollett has been MIA, the controversy surrounding the charges against him being dropped continues to grow. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has had to defend her office’s abrupt decision to drop the 16 felony counts against Smollett.
“Our office handles cases like this, Class 4 felonies, disorderly conducts, in this way often,” Foxx told ABC News. “We have an alternative prosecution unit in our office that the last two years has seen 5,700 cases come through many of them with similar outcomes as we’ve seen in this case.”