Can Jussie Smollett engineer a Hollywood comeback?

  • News
  • February 28, 2019

I am quoted in today’s CNN article about Jussie Smollett. It was a very interesting question – Can Jussie make a Hollywood comeback? It’s wide open and certainly not guaranteed. He needs to stop making excuses, cut a quick deal, and get the embarrassing part of this out of the courtroom and out of the public view. Then he needs to disappear for a while and work behind the scenes to make amends with those groups who are angry at him for potentially delegitimizing legitimate gay-bashing victims. A deft crisis PR firm can help with this. Then he has a shot. Keep in mind, if people like Rob Lowe and Roman Polanski were later embraced by Hollywood for crimes against others, Jussie should have a shot at rehabilitating himself for a crime against, well, mostly himself.

The crisis managers need to use some judo and play to the reasons why Jussie said he did this. He has depression. He finds it a struggle to try to make it as a gay, black man in Hollywood. No, these are not excuses for doing what he did, but they can be used as bricks to pave his road back to redemption.

Alternatively, this may lead him to a higher calling, so to speak. Since we are talking about someone who was caught lying to the public, look at the infamous case of New York Times Staff Writer Jayson Blair, who blamed his serial fabrications on job pressures and bipolar disorder. Blair now works as an advocate for those with bipolar disorder. Whichever path he chooses, if Smollett is honest from here on out, many things are possible.