‘Why Would Jussie Smollett Do This?’
When the news story first broke, it created anger and outrage. Politician’s called it ‘a modern day lynching’. But anger and outrage turned into mass confusion and bafflement…
With the media and fans asking one thing:
Why would Jussie Smollett do this?
Let’s begin at the scene of a crime…
At 2am on January 29th, Jussie Smollett a rising TV star from one of the most popular shows on television, Empire, was allegedly attacked and beaten by two masked men in Chicago.
The attackers, recognizing the star, hung a noose around Jessie’s neck and poured bleach on him, while shouting racist and homophobic slurs.
The whole event was despicable.
However, it now turns out the entire attack appears to have been faked - and police believe it was - by none other than the actor himself, with the help of paid accomplices.
In less than 3 weeks he’s gone from victim to suspect to defendant, with his career and his freedom on the line.
Chicago PD is very clear - they’ve got the right man. The evidence and testimony collected so far, doesn’t look good for Jussie.
“The charges if true, are utterly outrageous” the Judge at his hearing said, as he set bail at $100,000.
Jussie’s out on bail, awaiting his trial.
In the meantime, everyone wants to know...
Why did he do it?
(Assuming for a moment that he did…)
The beginning of the answer is pretty clear if you step back and ask:
What is this action the solution for?
In NLP we presume that all behavior is purposive, habitual or is an adaptation to a specific circumstance or situation.
People aren’t broken even if from our point of view what someone does is messed up.
So what might filing a false and racially charged police report be the solution for, at this particular time?
Well as an actor - the one thing you constantly strive for - is attention and name recognition.
This story has got global attention.
Outpourings of sympathy.
A coveted long segment on Good Morning America.
Wall-to-wall coverage on TMZ.
Messages of support from the politicians, activist groups and high-ranking celebrities.
Now everyone knows his name.
For three weeks, the previously obscure actor has been the most talked-about actor in America, and this during Oscar season.
When you chunk up and ask what value does getting nationwide attention offer?
In the acting game these can be currency to command greater pay, access to better and bigger roles…
And all the feelings that ultimately he imagines that will bring.
Did he do it?
That’s for the court to decide.
Right now, he’s looking down the barrel of 1 to 3 years in prison, his reported $1.8M salary on Empire up in smoke, his music and acting career in tatters and his reputation ruined.
If only he’d learned to ask better questions.
Ironically, on his Twitter bio he states:
“I am simply here to help save the world. Nothing is more important than love.”
If he’s found guilty, there’s a movie to be made out of how a talented individual who was “simply here to help save the world”, chose such a vehicle…
Will Jussie rise like the phoenix and somehow prove his innocence? Or plead for forgiveness?
Will Chicago PD’s case collapse and activists take to the streets in protest?
Only time will tell. Jussie’s next court date is March 14.
But regardless of the outcome - there’s always value in asking better questions.
::: UPDATE :::
CHICAGO PD dropped the charges against Jussie Smollett, then accused the actor of staging his own hate crime attack on himself.
The case got weirder, get the latest here.
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