At the NAACP Image Awards Saturday night in Hollywood, Chris Rock took the mic and unloaded on Empire actor Jussie Smollett. Presenting the award for Outstanding Comedy SeriestoBlack-ish, Rock said, "What a waste of light skin. Do you know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here! I'd be running Hollywood. What the hell was he thinking? You're 'Jessie' from now on. You don't get the 'u' no more. That 'u' was respect. You ain't getting no respect from me!"
Smollett, who was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series but lost to Jesse Williams of Grey's Anatomy, was not on hand.
Saturday Night Live also lampooned the actor, having Chris Redd play him in a boardroom scene with network executives and Sandra Oh as his manager. Arriving late for a meeting, he says he was attacked and pulls out an unconvincing array of "clues" from a bag.
One star who did defend him this weekend was Image Awards host Anthony Anderson, who said, "I’m happy for him that the system worked for him in his favor because the system isn’t always fair, especially for people of color. It’s not my place or any other person’s place to judge him or what not, but I’m glad that he’s nominated… I hope he wins because I’d be interested to hear his speech.”