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  • Shayne Moody

CCU students react to the Jussie Smollett case

The Jussie Smollett case has affected a multitude of people throughout the country, some of those people being right here on campus.

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, Smollett, an actor from the popular television show ‘Empire’, claimed he was attacked by two men. According to Smollett, the two individuals had racist and homophobic motives, putting a noose around Smollett’s neck and shouting slurs.

As the case gained coverage across several major news networks, there were whispers that the alleged attack on Smollett was staged after reports showed that Smollett was reluctant to hand over his cell phone to police to help in the investigation.

"They wanted me to give my phone to the tech for three to four hours. I'm sorry but -- I'm not gonna do that," the singer said in an interview on Good Morning America. "Because I have private pictures and videos and numbers: my partner's number, my family's number, my cast mate's number, my friends' numbers, my private emails, my private songs, my private voice memos."

On Feb. 16, Chicago police identified the two men they arrested and later released as brothers -- Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo -- both U.S. citizens of Nigerian descent.

In the end, the attack turned out to be staged. The men and Smollett planned the assault because Smollett wanted good publicity and a better salary from the show. Smollett has been charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false report after allegedly staging the attack against himself in Chicago, a charge of felony disorderly conduct carries a penalty of one to three years in jail.

This case has hurt both the black and LGBT community. The discrimination against them they claim they face will now be questioned.

Some students at Coastal Carolina University believe that Smollett hurt the LGBT community.

“It’s a ‘boy who cried wolf’ situation, so that when someone is actually attacked people will say ‘oh, well Smollett faked it’,” Caroline Elswick, student, said.

Other students believed this case gave homophobic people even more reason to stick to their beliefs.

Paul Carotti, student, says that the discrimination against the LGBT community will be worsened due to this case’s popularity.

Students at Coastal Carolina University believe that the Smollett case is a huge step backwards for the LGBT community.

“My fear is that those that are already against the LGBTQ community will only use those case as a platform to invalidate the very real, tragic events and experiences that have happened and are happening every day,” Selena Mendoza, student, said. “To those within the historically marginalized community.”

Some students argue that this case will lessen the voice of the community.

“Homophobia is still rampant in our world today, and it takes one bad apple to render all of our experiences invalid,” Bryce Ross, student, said.

Some students believe Smollett could have went about getting a raise in a better way.

“I think the case is wild and something like I never seen before (sic). Like why set yourself up just to get more money when you could just ask for a raise,” Jacque Jett, student, said.

Smollett has been removed from the final two episodes of season five of ‘Empire’. ‘Empire’, which has been on air since 2015, has been nominated for six Emmy awards, two Golden Globes and a Grammy.

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