Words: Steve Brown
Jussie Smollett said ‘fuck no’ to his Empire character having a white on-screen boyfriend.
The actor has portrayed Jamal Lyon in the hit show for five seasons since 2015 – the same year he came out on The Ellen DeGeneres Show – but while speaking on The Clay Cane Show, the actor revealed he insisted on his on-screen character wouldn’t have a white boyfriend.
He said: “There was talk about Jamal having a white boyfriend. I said, ‘Fuck no’.”
Smollett went on to explain why he held the opinion and said it was “not for any reason except we have a responsibility.
“And such a beautiful opportunity to show two black men in a relationship together.
“It was important to say it. That wasn’t anything against white men. It was just a thing of, ‘No, no, no, no – this is what I hope to see’.
“And I wish I had seen as a kid. Because, if I had seen certain things as an adolescent, I would have had a much different understand of who I am in an earlier space.”