On Thursday, The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah was the first late-night host to weigh in on Jussie Smollett’s arrest, as well as the alleged motive for staging a racist and homophobic attack against himself.
“A month ago, few people knew who he was,” Noah began. “But now, the whole world knows Jussie’s name, and it’s for all the wrong reasons.”
According to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, Smollett staged the attack because he was dissatisfied with his Empire salary. (Sources tell THR, though, that there have been no signs that Smollett is dissatisfied with his pay.)
“This dude may have faked a hate crime, just to get a raise? I don’t understand, like, what’s the logic there?” Noah asked. “You get your ass beat, then you go to your boss, like, ‘Hey, can I get another million dollars? I need to buy some Band-Aids.’ Like, what was the thinking?”
Even more mind-boggling to Noah than the incriminating evidence was that Smollett directed CPD to a nearby surveillance camera that he hoped had filmed the attack, only to discover that the camera wasn’t pointed in his direction.
“You have got to be sh–ting me. He wanted to get caught, but he didn’t get caught on camera because he didn’t know which way the camera was pointing? You’re an actor!” Noah exclaimed. “That’s your only job!”
The way Noah sees it, Smollett screwed over just about everyone. “Members of the gay community are emotionally terrorized over something that turned out to be a hoax; Trump supporters are upset about being falsely accused; and Democratic candidates are tying themselves in knots trying to walk back their initial statements calling this a modern-day lynching… The point is, nobody won,” he said, “but there is a silver lining: When this started out, it was a story about people who hated Jussie Smollett because he was black and gay. But now, people hate him because he’s an a–hole. In other words, they’re judging him on the content of his character, and not the color of his skin — and that, my friends, is progress.”
Watch Noah’s response to Smollett’s arrest in full, then hit the comments with your reactions.