“Empire’s” Malik Yoba Backtracks On Statements About Jussie Smollett’s Sexuality, Says He Was Misquoted

March 4, 2015  |  


After telling the website Black Film that “Empire” star Jussie Smollett is gay, Malik Yoba is now saying his statements about his co-star were misrepresented. I’m pretty sure that’s what everyone says when they put their foot in their mouth, or in this case, put someone else’s business out there.

In case you missed it, this is what Yoba told Black Film about why the show is so important:

“I think that our show represents a huge opportunity to stay in the culture beyond entertainment value and there’s an intrinsic nature of you have the gay factor, right? So, obviously, Lee is gay. That was an important storyline for him. I think it’s important for people to see themselves. Even within the Black community. But if you aren’t really, really taking it off of screen and making it live in the community in a significant way…like I know Jussie, he is gay, and he’s very committed to issues around the LGBT community. He and I have a very close relationship.”

His comments seem pretty straightforward, correct? Based on his statements about being close to Smollett and the actor’s work for the LGBT community, he wasn’t speaking about Smollett’s character, Jamal–he was referring to Smollett. But when people criticized him for outing his castmate when Smollett hasn’t even spoken on his personal life publicly, Yoba realized he didn’t make a good decision. Yoba issued a statement through his publicist saying that he was misquoted and was actually referring to the character of Jamal.

“I was misquoted in the article. My reference to Jussie was only about his character and storyline on Empire.”

As for Smollett, he made it clear in a recent interview with “Sway in the Morning” that he has no plans to divulge information on his sexuality because it’s not anyone’s business but his own.

“I’m not willing to confirm or deny anything. I live my life. If someone is looking for a box to put me in, that’s not going to happen. I live my life, and if you really want to know about me, just watch, because I don’t hide anything. I just don’t choose to talk about my personal life.”

Get it? Got it? Good.

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