The Jussie Smollett drama continues, even as the Empire actor himself seems ready to move on from it. After having all charges against him in connection to his January hate crime attack dropped, Jussie has reportedly touched down in Los Angeles to attend the NAACP Image Awards this weekend, where he is a nominee in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category. Not everyone is pleased with his quick return to the spotlight, however.
One of those people who feels strongly about him showing up to the celebratory event is Power star Naturi Naughton, and she did not hold back when expressing just how she feels about the controversial star.
TMZ caught up with Naughton at LAX on Thursday, days after Smollett was freed of all charges, and while chopping it up with a photographer, she made it clear that she thinks Smollett should pay a price for... whatever it is he did or didn’t do.
"This is tricky, because we actually both won last year," she said. "Me and Jussie won as Best Supporting Actor and Actress, and I'm a fan and I love him, but if anybody else was indicted 16 times, like 16 counts, for committing a crime, a hoax, you want to have them represent the NAACP? That's not what the NAACP stands for."
Taking things a bit further, the former 3LW star added, "I feel like he should kind of get canceled," before suggesting that the actor should, on his own accord, not attend the ceremony.
"I think he, just being gracious and respecting the fact that, 'You know what? This has not been a good look for me, I should just sit this one out and let somebody else have that nomination spot,'" she said.
Making her stance crystal clear, she reiterated how she feels about the now widely discussed scandal.
"I feel some type of way," she continued. "I love Jussie, but I also feel like, you know, you do the crime, you do the time."
For his part, Jussie has maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, and reiterated that point following news that the 16 charges against him were being dropped by the Illinois state’s attorney’s office.
Take a look at the full exchange, below:
Naturi isn’t exactly alone in her view. Several Twitter users have expressed disgust at the Jussie drama, and many were not kind with their words. We left out the harshest and most NSFW reactions, but take a look at the general sentiment, below:
(Photos from left: Jim Spellman/WireImage, Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)