Jussie Smollett Reflects On Attack, Aftermath On 'Good Morning America': 'I'm Pissed Off'


Empire actor Jussie Smollett said he is "pissed off" about what happened to him on the night of Jan. 29 and what has happened since.


An exclusive interview with the actor aired Thursday morning on ABC's Good Morning America. Robin Roberts asked him what was making him so angry.


"It's the attackers, but also the attacks," he said, adding of those who don't believe his story, "It's not necessarily that you don't believe that this is the truth, you don't even want to see the truth."


The interview comes more than two weeks after Smollett told police that he was attacked in Chicago by two masked men yelling racial and homophobic slurs, including "MAGA Country." He said that the attackers poured a bleach-smelling liquid on him and put a noose around his neck.


Smollett said the attack was so quick that he didn't see much of his attackers. In fact, he said it was so fast he did not notice there was a rope around his neck until it was over.

"It was so fast," he said. "It felt like minutes, but it was probably like 30 seconds, honestly. I can't tell you, honestly."

He told Roberts he hesitated to call the police because of his pride.

"We live in a society where, as a gay man, you are considered somehow to be weak, and I am not weak," he said. "We as a people are not weak."

Smollett called the rumors he has heard about that night, such as the speculation that it was a date gone wrong, "offensive."

When asked why he thinks he was attacked, Smollett referenced Trump.

"I come really, really hard against 45. I come really, really hard against his administration," he said. "I don't hold my tongue."

Smollett said the experience has changed him forever.

"I don't subscribe to the idea that everything happens for a reason," he said, "but I do subscribe to the idea that we have the right and responsibility to make something meaningful out of the things that happen to us, good and bad."


The message he hopes to spread in the aftermath is one of empowerment for young people.

"I just want young people, young members of the LGBTQ community, young black children to know how strong that they are, to know the power that they hold in their little pinky," he said.

Smollett said that he "so badly" hopes video of the attack surfaces for multiple reasons. Among them, he said, he hopes that he can serve as an example for young gay people to see how hard he fought back.

The idea that the attackers may never be found angers him, Smollett said.

"I understand how difficult it will be to find them, but we gotta," he said. "I still want to believe, with everything that has happened, that there's something called justice."

Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for Chicago Police Department, watched the interview with CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Guglielmi said Smollett's comments on GMA are consistent with what he's told Chicago police. Unfortunately, police have no solid evidence to arrest anyone at this time.


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