One of the most notorious hate crime hoaxers in the United States will soon receive another film credit as a director. According to a recent TMZ report, Jussie Smollett is currently working on an upcoming film in California.
Jussie Smollett Directing New Film With Vivica A. Fox As He Appeals Conviction https://t.co/AiMZUNwg25
— TMZ (@TMZ) June 23, 2023
Smollett, known for his involvement in a staged hate crime, is collaborating with actress Vivica A. Fox on the production of “The Lost Holiday” in Orange County. The former cast member of the popular television series “Empire” was photographed on the film set on Thursday. Smollett gained infamy for orchestrating a staged hate crime attack in January 2019.
He paid two Nigerian bodybuilders to portray white Donald Trump supporters who assaulted him with bleach while proclaiming “this is MAGA country” in downtown Chicago under the cover of darkness.
Following a conviction on five counts of filing false police reports, which are felonies under Illinois law, Smollett was initially booked into Cook County Jail to serve his sentence. However, his jail time was ultimately put on hold pending an appeal.
Despite the evidence against him and the testimonies of the two brothers involved in the incident who pointed to Smollett as the mastermind, the actor continues to maintain his innocence. Last year, Smollett secured a directorial role in a made-for-streaming movie produced by Black Entertainment Television, as reported by Variety.
While it remains unclear what specific position he holds in “The Lost Holiday,” the film credits of Smollett continue to grow. Legal experts speculate Smollett’s appeal process could extend over several years, as overturning a conviction of this nature is complex.
In the meantime, Smollett remains undeterred, actively pursuing his career in the film industry, despite the cloud of controversy that surrounds him. His latest opportunity as a director showcases a continued belief in his abilities within the industry.
Whether his involvement will be embraced or met with criticism remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the film serves as a platform for Smollett to showcase his talents and potentially reshape public perception.
While the controversy surrounding Smollett’s past actions is unlikely to dissipate anytime soon, the film industry has a history of forgiving and giving second chances to convicted felons.