Well, this sounds like it could be a plotline for an episode of Empire. Malik Yoba is backtracking on comments he made about his co-star Jussie Smollett in which he seemingly outed the show's young standout.
Speaking lovingly about the diversity in Empire, Yoba told Black Film, “I think that our show represents a huge opportunity to stay in the culture beyond entertainment value and there’s an intrinsic nature of you have the gay factor, right? So, obviously, Lee [Daniels] is gay. That was an important storyline for him."
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He then added. "I think it’s important for people to see themselves. Even within the Black community…like I know Jussie, he is gay, and he’s very committed to issues around the LGBT community. He and I have a very close relationship.”
Though his comments seem as straightforward as they can get, Yoba is now saying, via a statement through his publicist, “I was misquoted in the article. My reference to Jussie was only about his character and storyline on Empire.”
Smollett, who plays Lucious Lyon's (Terrence Howard) openly gay son Jamal in Empire, recently told Sway in the Morning that he doesn't discuss his private life. “I’m not willing to confirm or deny anything. I live my life. I don’t hide anything; I just don’t choose to talk about my personal life,” he said.
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(Photos from Left: Robin Marchant/Getty Images, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)