Daily Show Senior Culture Correspondent Jaboukie Young-White is ready for the role of a Lifetime. Or at least a role on Lifetime. On Tuesday night’s Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Young-White notes his similarities to Jussie Smollett: they are both black, gay, and actors.
While Trevor Noah does not think that the two look alike, Young-White says, “to white people I do and hopefully to whoever is casting the Jussie Smollett Lifetime movie.” Young-White is also available to take over Smollett’s role on Empire.
Smollett made waves in the news after posting a since-deleted Instagram photo from the hospital after an alleged hate crime. The Empire star claimed that he was assaulted on January 29 by two masked men shouting, “This is MAGA country!” as he walked home from a Subway restaurant. Since then, many—including the police—believe the actor-singer orchestrated the attack himself causing a whirlwind of controversy.
Comedians react to Jussie Smollett hoax
Some comics and late night show hosts have avoided discussing the sensitive case. Young-White and Noah analyzed the alleged crime in a five-minute segment last night on The Daily Show. Noah speculated about possible items found in the apartment of the brothers arrested for the crime, including a Faking Hate Crimes for Dummies book.
Young-White joined to discuss the situation because he is black and gay and is well-suited to cover stories like this or if “RuPaul robbed a bank.”
The 24-year-old comedian used his platform to teach the viewing audience about the case while showing off his made-for-tv movie acting chops. Of course, Young-White is, “still piecing together leads from the Chicago police department and more reliable sources like TMZ.” He explained the gay trans panic defense that is legal in 47 states. He also proposed alternative ways in which Smollett could have gained attention, such as leaking nudes or posting a death threat letter on Twitter.
The Chicago native is not the only comic with loose connections to the Smollett case. Nigerian comedian Godfrey told TMZ on Tuesday that “Nigerians are very angry.” He continued that Smollett, “owes them [Trump supporters] an apology. He owes everybody an apology. He owes the black community an apology. He owes the gay community an apology.”
Jussie Smollett goes from victim to suspect
Chicago police are reportedly working to move Smollett’s case to a grand jury, where the arrested brothers’ testimony will be officially documented. The police have requested a follow-up interview with Smollett and are waiting for him to respond.
A Chicago police spokesperson said last week that Smollett is no longer considered a victim in the alleged attack. The actor could face prison time if he falsified a police report.
Watch Young-White’s complete Daily Show segment below.