Jussie Smollett is returning to the entertainment industry after he was released from jail following an appeal for his hate crime hoax. The actor’s directorial debut is set to be released next month.
Smollett’s Directorial Debut
In honor of Pride Month, Smollett’s new movie, B-Boy Blues, will be released by BET+ in June. The film is an adaptation of a book of the same name by James Earl Hardy. BET+’s executive vice president Devin Griffin said, “Through our content slate, we are intentional about representing the fullness of the Black experience, including that of the LGBTQ+ community.”
He continued, “B-Boy Blues is an artful, heart-rending film about the complexity of love—something we can all relate to.” In addition to directing the movie, Smollett also helped write the script.
Production for the film started in 2020, and B-Boy Blues debuted at the 2021 American Black Film Festival, winning the Narrative Feature Fan Favorite Award. The movie’s success is a big deal for Smollett, who has been weathering a serious controversy for the last few years.
The 2019 Hate Crime Hoax
In 2019, Smollett told police he had been attacked by two men who, in addition to beating him up, had used a number of racial and homophobic slurs. Shortly after the incident made headlines, it was discovered that Smollett had staged the incident, hiring two brothers to carry out the “attack.”
In March of 2022, Smollett was found guilty of five counts of felony disorderly conduct pertaining to making four false police reports. He was sentenced to serve 150 days in county jail, two and half years on probation, fined $25,000, and ordered to make restitution to the city of Chicago for just over $120,000.
Smollett’s Current Legal Battle
The actor was released five days later after he posted $150,000 in bail, pending the outcome of his conviction appeal. This was due to comments made by Smollett and his legal team regarding his personal safety.
After his sentencing, Smollett repeatedly said, “I am not suicidal”. He then said, “Your honor, I respect you and I respect the jury, but I did not do this, and I am not suicidal, and if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that.”
Smollet remains out on bail while his case is appealed and will continue to attend hearings. While Smollett’s personal life remains complicated, it will be interesting to watch his reentry into the entertainment industry.
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