Jussie Smollett from the new Fox drama, “Empire,” confirms that he is a gay man while on “Ellen.”
Talk about burying the lede. Everyone is reporting how “Empire” Jussie Smollett revealed he is gay on Ellen. There was never any doubt. What is fascinating is that he used Instagram to get this prized role on the hottest TV series on TV!
“There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in,” the actor said to Ellen DeGeneres. “I don’t own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don’t have a closet. But I have a home and that is my responsibility, to protect that home.”
Smollett, who is also an indie musician, added, “What you’ve [Ellen] done within the LGBT community is very much, in my opinion, kind of like what Michael Jackson did with the black community, just that you are who you are…So it was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet. There is without a doubt, no closet that I’ve ever been in. And I just wanted to make that clear, but it was most important for me to make that clear to you on your show at this time in the world.”
Smollett, 31, plays a gay character, Jamal Lyon, the second son of hip-hop artist turned businessman and CEO of Empire Entertainment, Lucious Lyon, who is played by Terrence Howard. In the show, Lucious is shown to be quite brutal and unforgiving towards his gay son, who seems to be the only son of the three with redeeming qualities (Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) is a showboat and Andre (Trai Byers) is bipolar). Mother Cookie (Taraj Henson) adores Jamal and is his protector and manager.
Unimaginably Smollett talked about how he got hate messages from Twitter. However, he added that the hate will not deter him from doing what he loves.
Mean tweets and unkind Internet trolls suck! Just ask #DancingMan! “I get some ignorant tweets every once in a while … and I know you’re not supposed to respond, but sometimes you got to clap back!” Smollett said. “I’m a firm believer that people cannot get away with murder … I just feel that, as tenants of this Earth it’s our job to make a difference and make the world better and we can’t just sit around and let people spew nasty things and just think that’s OK. It’s not OK.”
In the interview, Smollett also talked about how he managed to get an audition with the show’s creator Lee Daniels by direct messaging him on Instagram. Smollett had to audition seven times before he landed the job.