“They said no Jussie Smollett jokes, I know. What a waste of light skin,” Rock said. “You know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be outta here! I’d be f–king running Hollywood!”
The 36-year-old earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for his work on Empire. Reportedly he flew to Los Angeles to attend the ceremony, but ultimately he was a no show.
Rock later questioned Smollett’s motive and stated he has no respect for the disgraced actor. “What the hell was he thinking? From now on you’re ‘Jessie.’ From now on, you don’t get the u no more. That ‘u’ was respect, you ain’t getting no respect from me.”
The audience seemed to eat it all up, including The Daily Show host Trevor Noah who could be seen cackling in the audience.
On Jan. 22, Jussie Smollett alleged to have been attacked by two men wearing MAGA hats as he left a Subway fast-food restaurant. The Empire actor alleged the two men hurled racial and homophobic slurs, beat him, poured bleach on him and tried to tie a noose around his neck. Initially, many in Hollywood stood behind Smollett, but as the case went on suspicion arose.
The Chicago Police Department later alleged Smollett fabricated the whole ordeal and charged him with 16 felony counts. The story only further raised eyebrows when prosecutors dropped all charges, leaving Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, the city of Chicago and anyone following the story bewildered.
While Rock may have earned a few LOLs from a majority of the audience, Black-Ish star Yara Shadidi accepted her award and said: “I stand with Jussie.”