“The Real” co-host Amanda Seales has leapt to the defense of fellow actor Jussie Smollett after his indictment on Tuesday by a Chicago special prosecutor over the police reports he filed in January 2019 for what he said was a hate-crime attack.
“Even if it was a hoax for the sake of bringing attention to this, then I’m like, that’s low-key noble,” the actress and new co-host of the daytime talk show “The Real” said on Wednesday’s episode following Smollett’s indictment on six counts of disorderly conduct.
“Like, I’m just at my wits end about us centering situations like this and wanting to make people have to pay,” Seales said of Smollett’s now-famous claim that he was the victim of a hate-crime in January 2019, for which he was later accused of filing a false police report. (Smollett’s attorney Tina Glandian vowed to fight the new charges, which she called “clearly all about politics not justice.”)
“Like, Emmett Till’s accuser was alive — I think she’s still alive,” Seales continued, referencing the young black boy who was lynched in 1955 after being falsely accused of offending a white woman at her family’s grocery store.
“This young man died, and she announced that she was lying about it — they should have put the shackles on her that day! And she’s walking around!”
Seales went on to stress the low-stakes of Smollett’s alleged crime. “So, no one was hurt in this situation, nobody — you know what they’re mad about? Their time. Their resources being used,” she said. “Taxpayers resources are being used every day to imprison people who have done nothing but be an addict. So I don’t want to hear about Jussie Smollett.”
But fellow co-host Adrienne Houghton wasn’t so quick to exonerate the former “Empire” star. “OK, but what do we do about people that feel that, ‘Well, what if a hate crime really happens to me, and now because of what Jussie Smollett did, now they don’t believe me,”’ Houghton asked.
“If this one instance is what makes them not believe you, baby, that’s a lie that they’re telling ourselves. We have lived in a nation where they don’t believe hate crimes every day. Every single day,” Seales replied.
“They got a smack on the wrist for all these people and they can’t give a smack on the wrist for Jussie Smollett? Like, because they’re saying it’s a whole big thing? I’m just — I don’t believe it. We look at black men who are constantly getting the book thrown at them all the time.”
Watch the video above.