Jussie Smollett received an NAACP Image Award nomination for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his “Empire” role, but Naturi Naughton said he should remove himself.
The “Power” actress relayed that message to a TMZ reporter who asked her Thursday, March 28, if Smollett’s name should be erased from the list of nominees. Naughton was also nominated by the NAACP for outstanding actress in a drama series and spoke openly about what she thought of the actor.
That’s because earlier this month, Smollett was hit with a 16-count indictment after Chicago police said he lied about being attacked by two men. But the charges were recently dropped, which seemed to satisfy some but anger many.
“I’m a fan and I love him but if anybody else was indicted 16 times, like 16 counts for committing a crime, a hoax, would you want to have them represent the NAACP?” asked Naughton. “That’s not what the NAACP stands for, so I feel like he should kind of get canceled.”
Naughton also said Smollett should be “gracious” and bow out himself, then give his nomination to someone else.
“I feel a type of way,” she continued. “I mean, I love Jussie, but I also feel like, you know, do the crime do the time. I can’t believe they dropped all the counts, but that’s what money and power will do for you.”
But it’s possible Smollett’s money could be affected, because CNN reports the city of Chicago wants him to pay $130,106.15 for investigating his alleged attack, which represents the total cost.
A letter was recently sent to the actor’s attorneys, and it stated if he doesn’t pay in seven days there’s a chance he’ll be prosecuted.
“It is the mayor and the police chief who owe Jussie — owe him an apology — for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud,” said his attorneys. “Jussie has paid enough.”
As for whether Smollett will show up to the NAACP Image Awards, that’s unknown, but he did land Wednesday in Los Angeles, where the ceremony will take place.
The 50th NAACP Image Awards will air live on March 30 from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.