Black Leadership Network Asks NAACP to Rescind Jussie Smollett’s Image Award

Photo Credit: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images 

Jussie Smollett’s been charged and his next court date is set, but a Black leadership network called Project 21 wants more. 

The public policy research group is requesting that the NAACP “rescind” the Empire actor’s nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, which was announced before Smollett was charged with 16 felonies, Project 21 says in their press release

Listing the number of ways Smollett has set not just the Black community, but America back, Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II says, “Everyone has a reason to be disappointed with Jussie Smollett right now, and these accumulated reasons justify the NAACP taking swift and appropriate action to remove him from consideration for its Image Award.”

Nedd continues, “Smollett is charged with perpetrating a hate crime hoax that wasted valuable police resources and stoked racial tensions nationwide. It hurt our nation’s ability to heal its racial wounds and made the NAACP’s civil rights goals harder to achieve. The NAACP needs to make it clear that his behavior is not OK by removing him from contention for an Image Award.”

Project 21 member Richard Holt mirrors the co-chairman’s sentiment.

“Why would the NAACP want to nominate a hate crime hoaxer for an Image Award? It would only do so to perpetuate the image of hatred and bigotry that keeps the antiquated organization relevant in the 21st century,” said Project 21 member Richard Holt. 

The NAACP has not responded, but Project 21 members “hope the NAACP will now similarly hold Smollett accountable and pursue a course of action that will help heal the damage Smollett’s apparent hoax has done to racial reconciliation. To not do so, they contend, puts the group’s reputation at risk.”