It was only a matter of time before Saturday Night Live let Jussie Smollett have it.
In a Shark Tank spoof on last night’s episode, troubled celebrities pitch Michael Avenatti, Jeanine Pirro, Alan Dershowitz, and Rudy Giuliani in hopes that one of these legal sharks will take their case. But who would risk representing Smollett?
Smollett, 36, who plays gay performer Jamal Lyon on the Fox drama Empire, reported January 29 that he was brutally attacked in Chicago by two masked assailants using racist and homophobic slurs.
Brothers Olabinjo “Ola” and Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo, questioned by police as suspects but released without charges, “shifted the trajectory of the investigation” by providing evidence that they had been paid $3,500 by the gay actor to help orchestrate the assault.
The Chicago Police Department confirmed last week that Smollett had been apprehended and was in custody. He was released on bail and is due back in court March 14.
“You won’t believe this, but I was just attacked outside the studio by Donald Trump himself,” Chris Redd’s Smollett tells the legal sharks, only taking it back when informed there are cameras outside.
Why exactly is he there? “I broke humanity?” he responds. “But if you take my case, I’m offering spoilers for the next season of Empire: I die.”
“Wow, a gay black man lying about an attack,” says Cecily Strong as Pirro. “I wrote Fox News fanfiction about this but I never thought it would come true!”
“Jussie, you’ve got everything I love in a client,” adds host John Mulaney as Dershowitz. “You’re famous, you’re probably guilty, end of list.”
“Weekend Update” anchor Colin Jost also took a swipe at the actor: “Police in New York arrested a man who faked his own abduction and robbery to avoid paying the 50 grand he owed in a Super Bowl pool. Worse, the man had just lost his job on Empire.” Cut to a photo of Smollett.
Despite Chicago PD’s claims during a press briefing that Smollett may have organized the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on Empire, the actor maintains his innocence. His attorneys have denounced the police for “an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system.”
Smollett is charged with felony disorderly conduct for allegedly making a false police report. If found guilty, he could face up to three years in prison.
See SNL bash Smollett below.