Jussie Smollett’s case: How the public is reacting on social media


Jussie Smollett’s charges have been dropped, and people are speaking their mind on social media. Reactions to Smollett’s victory vary.

On March 26, criminal charges filed against Jussie Smollett for staging a hate crime were dismissed , and his record was subsequently “wiped clean,” according to his lawyers.

To quickly recap the story: Smollett reported being beaten up in late January, which was characterized as a “possible hate crime” at the time. By mid-to-late February, however, Smollett himself had been arrested, with charges including disorderly conduct. In early March, the charges expanded to 16 counts. That brings us back to this week, when charges were dropped.

Because of all the constant rolling-in of new information, the public’s opinion has varied. Social media, especially Twitter, is filled to the brim with thoughts and opinions on the case — from confusion about the outcome to support for Smollett.

Shows like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah have weighed in with comedy:

Celebrities who believed he was innocent from the beginning to now have also spoken out. Questlove, from The Roots, posted this self-affirming tweet:

The official Twitter account of Empire‘s writers got itself in trouble for a cheeky tweet that came out after the news of the felony charges being dismissed.

Many people replied to this tweet, saying it rubbed them the wrong way, some going as far to say they won’t watch Empire anymore because of it.

Empire cast members Gabourey Sidibe and Taraji P. Henson showed their support for Smollett as well.

Henson retweeted this post from the Fox show’s Twitter account.

Another popular opinion around this case is summarized by Ava DuVernay’s tweet below:

DuVernay is referring to a common opinion that many black people in America have. The Chicago Police Department is notoriously known for racism, even after investigations found that it was a problem.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s comment about “a whitewash of justice” when referring to Smollett’s felony charges didn’t help, particularly when the Laquan McDonald case is still in recent memory.

The City of Chicago is now asking for Smollett to pay back investigation fees, which amount to $130,000. Emanuel said this is a way for the city to keep Smollett accountable for wasting the police resources. However, these comments have also drawn ire, particularly when compared to some of CPD’s other costs:

There has even been a proposal, as reported by The Hill, to effectively ban Smollett from working in the state:

The responses to that part of the story can basically be summed up as follows:

Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff Tina Tchen reportedly put Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in touch with Smollett. According to the Associated Press, there may be further investigations into the handling of the case, and Foxx has faced further criticism:

As you can see, the conversation surrounding Jussie Smollett is far from over. Have thoughts about his case yourself? Let us know in the comments below.

We will continue to cover this story as it develops.