Hollywood has a notoriously short memory when it comes to shunning one of their own.
Disgraced actor Jussie Smollett will make his directorial debut in the upcoming release of “B-Boy Blues” on the BET+ streaming service on June ninth. No matter whether he perpetrated a hate crime hoax against himself and was found guilty of lying to the police. Considering the cases of Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski, what Smollett perpetrated was amateur hour.
Variety reported that Mona Scott-Young, 55, and her Monami Entertainment production company procured the deal with BET+. She is also the producer of the VH1 reality series “Love & Hip-Hop.”
“B-Boy Blues” is an adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s novel and stars Timothy Richardson (“David Makes Man”), Ledisi (“Selma”), Brandee Evans (“P-Valley”), Heather B (“The Real World”), Marquise Vilson (“Tom Swift”), Jabari Redd (“Goals”), Broderick Hunter (“Insecure”) and Thomas Mackie.
“Through our content slate, we are intentional about representing the fullness of the Black experience, including that of the LGBTQ+ community,” said BET+ executive vice-president and general manager Devin Griffin. “‘B-Boy Blues’ is an artful, heart-rending film about the complexity of love – something we all can relate to.”
The film debuted at the 2021 American Black Film Festival and won the Narrative Feature Fan Favorite Award. According to the summary, it chronicles “a clash of class and culture when Mitchell Crawford, a college-educated journalist from Brooklyn, and Raheim Rivers, a bike messenger from Harlem, fall in love,” according to the film’s summary.
In addition to directing the film, Smollett also co-wrote the script with author Hardy, the outlet reported.
“B-Boy Blues is a beautifully bold, funny, heartwarming bro-mance and I was thrilled to partner with Jussie to help this wonderful film gain greater exposure,” Young said. “Falling head over heels and fighting for love are universal emotions and experiences and we are so grateful to BET+ for shining a powerful spotlight on the still seriously underrepresented black LGBTQ+ community and bringing this impactful love story to an even greater audience,” Scott-Young said.
In March, Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail, but he served only six days and was granted release as his attorneys filed an appeal to overturn his conviction.
The actor has maintained his innocence throughout the case, but he apparently lacks the acting skills to make it convincing to anyone outside of his bubble.
The judge in the trial said what most people were thinking before handing down the sentence in March.
While he said Smollett might have a good side, Judge James Linn told him, “you have another side of you that is profoundly arrogant and selfish and narcissistic. That’s the only thing that can be concluded,” as BPR reported.
“The hypocrisy is just astounding,” Linn said after listening to hours of testimony about Smollett’s lifelong involvement in racial justice initiatives. “You really crave the attention.”
“There are people that are actual, genuine victims of hate crimes that you did damage to,” the judge concluded.
In March, publicist Eric Rose told ABC News that Smollett would be better off admitting guilt and apologizing, noting that Hollywood is often very forgiving (unless you’re Roseanne Barr.)
“I think he’s actually doing more harm than good.”
“That’s what we call ‘death by 1,000 cuts,” Rose said. “From a reputation perspective, that is horrible.”
After Smollett did community service and forfeited a $10,000 bond, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx dropped the criminal charges against the actor. Still, special prosecutor Dan K. Webb reopened the case and decided to charge Smollett with six crimes related to the hate crime hoax, five of which he was found guilty.
Now that he has been granted release pending appeal, Smollett’s attorneys are falling back on double jeopardy claims for the initial reopening of the criminal case against their client.
It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.
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