“Fox & Friends” was not happy with the decision Tuesday by Chicago prosecutors to drop all charges against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, with show hosts loudly speculating that Smollett’s fame and star power helped him beat the rap.
“People can get away with anything,” co-host Brian Kilmeade said during Wednesday’s broadcast. “Not one person that I know of actually believes this guy’s story.”
“This is the most egregious thing he said yesterday,” Kilmeade continued, reading a quote from Smollett on air in which the actor professed his innocence and noted that he was a “man of faith.”
“So he just tripled down on the horror which is his character, or lack thereof,” Kilmeade said.
“A lot of people are saying if you’re famous, if you know certain people you can get out of crimes,” added co-host Ainsley Earhardt. “Many people are appalled by this.”
“Fox & Friends” was far from alone in their outrage over the matter. Chicago’s Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel held a press conference shortly after the news broke denouncing the move, calling it a “whitewash of justice.”
“Mr. Smollett is still saying that he is innocent, still running down the Chicago Police department. How dare him. How dare him,” Emanuel said. “[This] sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power you’ll get treated one way, other people will get treated another way. There is no accountability, then, in the system. It is wrong. Full stop.”
On Tuesday, Smollett’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, took a victory lap.
“Jussie was attacked by two people he was unable to identify. He was a victim and was victimized again in a rush to judgment,” he said in a tweet. “Apologies accepted.”
Smollett rocketed to national fame after saying he was attacked by two masked men in Chicago early in the morning of Jan. 29. Smollett said the men poured bleach on him and tied a rope around his neck while yelling pro-Trump slogans including “this is MAGA country.” After an investigation however, police ultimately concluded that Smollett had faked the attack in order to raise his profile and assist in negotiating a higher salary for his work on “Empire.” He has been facing 16 felony counts over the issue before they were all abruptly dismissed on Tuesday.