In response to the suggestion from Chicago Police that Empire actor Jussie Smollett falsified a police report, which is a class 4 felony charge, and staged the Jan. 29 attack because he was reportedly dissatisfied with his salary, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah weighed in on the conflict.
Noah posted a five minute video Thursday, in which he shared his thoughts on the unfolding case. “The whole world knows Jussie’s name, and for all the wrong reasons,” said Noah, before showing a series of news media clips from early reports on the case.
“Are you kidding me?” Noah asked. “This dude may have faked a hate crime just to get a raise? What was he thinking?” Noah went on to consider the situation. “You get your ass beat, and then go to your boss and say, ‘Hey, can I get another million dollars? I need to get some band-aids.”
Noah pointed out, “This is a petty reason to pull off such a major crime. Imagine if we found out that Tupac had faked his own death just to get out of a Blockbuster late fee? That would be insane.”
The late night host went on to detail the ways in which Chicago Police have investigated the case, including finding “incriminating” evidence that Smollett and the two brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who were suspects in the case until they became witnesses, left behind.
Noah showed clips of news media reporting on the ride share app that was used in addition to cell phone records and conversations between the three men an hour before the alleged attack. Noah then brought up the fact that Smollett is said to have paid the two men with a check.
“What, did he also write, ‘fake hate crime’ in the memo?” the host quipped. “Even amateurs know, if you commit a crime, you go all cash, people! No paper trail.”
Later in the clip, Noah talked about how Chicago Police claim that Smollett wanted the crime to be caught on camera, “but that didn’t go right either,” noted the host, as the actual crime wasn’t caught on rotating security cameras — only the activity beforehand.
“You’ve got to be shitting me,” said Noah. “He wanted to be caught but he didn’t get caught on camera because he didn’t know which way the camera was pointing? You’re an actor, that’s your job!”
Toward the end, Noah pointed out how the thought processes have changed in this case.
“When this started out, it was a story about people who hated Jussie Smollett because he was black and gay,” said Noah. But now, people hate him because he’s an asshole. In other words, they’re judging him on the content of his character. And that, my friends, is progress.”
The Jussie Smollett saga began as a story of people who hated him because he was black and gay. Now, people just hate him because he’s an asshole. pic.twitter.com/ItpeasAS6D
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) February 22, 2019
This article originally appeared in THR.com.