With the 50th annual NAACP Image Awards approaching this weekend, actress Naturi Naughton shared her thoughts on fellow nominee, Jussie Smollett. The Power star says Smollett doesn’t deserve to be nominated after he was accused of staging a hate crime against himself and subsequently indicted on multiple felony counts that have since been dropped.
TMZ caught up with Naughton at LAX Thursday (March 29), and while she acknowledged being a fan of the Empire star, his legal predicament changed her opinion about how he should be treated.
“This is tricky because we actually both won last year as best supporting actors,” Naughton began when asked for her thoughts on Smollett’s nomination. “I’m a fan and I love him, but if anyone else was indicted on 16 counts for committing a hoax would you want to have them represent the NAACP? That’s not what NAACP stands for so I feel like he should kinda’ get cancelled.”
Naughton also said that Smollett should be “gracious” and give up the nomination. “I can’t believe they dropped all the counts [against him] but that’s what money and power will do for you,” she added.
Smollett hasn’t confirmed that he will be attending the ceremony, though he was spotted flying to Los Angeles this week. Meanwhile, Anthony Anderson, who’s hosting this year’s Image Awards hopes that Smollett wins the trophy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama.
The NAACP Image Awards air live on TV One Saturday (March 30) at 9 p.m. EST.
Watch video of Naughton below.