Jussie Smollett made his first public appearance since he was attacked last week in Chicago by two allegedly MAGA-screamin’ bigots. Jussie already spoke out, but EW reports that Jussie took the stage at LA’s Troubadour, performed some songs off his album for a sold-out crowd and spoke on the incident. U.S. Rep Maxine Waters of the “Yes? Can I Help You? What Do You Want?” political party was in the audience. There’s no word on whether she offered to fly back to Chicago with Jussie after the show to assist in finding and handling some people.
Before Jussie took the stage, his brothers and sisters said words about his attack, where two men yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him, wrapped a rope around his neck, and poured bleach on him.
Jussie Smollett’s brothers and sisters address the attack before Jussie took the stage tonight at The Troubadour in Los Angeles pic.twitter.com/Xlqb5MgLje
— Grè (@GreciaAranzazu) February 3, 2019
Jussie then took the stage and explained why he decided to go on with the show:
Fans waited in the rain to listen to the Empire star, who opened his set by explaining why he decided to play after the Jan. 29 incident that generated widespread attention for the gay actor-singer. “I had to be here tonight y’all,” he told the audience. “I couldn’t let those mother fuckers win.”
He was said to be visibly holding back tears as he admitted that he wasn’t “fully healed” but was on his way. Instead of filling a MAGA cap with dog doo and setting it alight on the front steps of the White House (Maxine probably could have helped with that), Jussie kept it classy.
“The hateful rhetoric that gets thrown around, I’m not gonna name names, it has to stop!” Smollett said during his performance. “But it stops with people who believe in love. Take love back because that’s all that we have … These last few days I couldn’t have gotten through without the love of my family and the love of y’all.”
He also cleared up a few things about the incident for the audience, which also included Empire creator Lee Daniels and actor Wilson Cruz. (That’s Ricky Vasquez from My So-Called Life for the televisually uncultured out there.)
Smollett ended his performance by saying he wanted to clear up a few points. He said he “was bruised but my ribs were not cracked. They were not broken.” He went to the doctor immediately after the incident, but was not hospitalized. Doctors in Chicago and Los Angeles also cleared him to perform.
And let’s close this post with Jussie noting that “he fought back.” Meet Gay Tupac!
Jussie clearing up rumors at Troubadour pic.twitter.com/mE5G6xxwNZ
— Tim Stack (@EWTimStack) February 3, 2019