Empire’s Jussie Smollett Comes Out, Says ‘There Is No Closet.’

Empire’s Jussie Smollett Comes Out, Says ‘There Is No Closet.’

There’s been a lot of speculation about Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s sexuality since the show has risen in popularity, fueled in part by his reluctance to talk about his personal life in the media. Now he’s made a special appearance with Ellen to sort-of-kinda-come out.

Jussie plays a gay role on the show, and last week, in a recent Q&A, his costar Malik Yoba was asked about the success of the series and its impact, and specifically brought up the gay representation on the show. He said:

“I think that our show represents a huge opportunity to stay in the culture beyond entertainment value and there’s an intrinsic nature of you have the gay factor, right? So, obviously, Lee (Daniels, co-creator) is gay. That was an important storyline for him. I think it’s important for people to see themselves. Even within the Black community. But if you aren’t really, really taking it off of screen and making it live in the community in a significant way … like I know Jussie, he is gay, and he’s very committed to issues around the LGBT community. He and I have a very close relationship.”

Many on social media were upset that Yoba apparently outed his costar.

And following the backlash, in a statement to USA Today via his publicist, Malik backpedaled, saying he was (what else?) misquoted: “I was misquoted in the article. My reference to Jussie was only about his character and storyline on Empire.”

During his guest appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Smollett finally came out publically as a gay man. The 31-year-old actor chose not to speak about his personal life during the main interview for the daytime talk show, but asked Ellen DeGeneres to film a special sit-down chat with him backstage shortly afterwards.

Smollett then spoke openly about his sexuality during the interview, saying, “It was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet. There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don’t have a closet…I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home.”

He continued, “So that’s why I choose not to talk about my personal life. But there is without a doubt, no closet that I’ve ever been in, and I just wanted to make that clear. But it was most important for me to make that clear to you on your show at this time in the world.  And that’s where I’m at.”

Smollett further explained, “Let’s not read into it the wrong way when I say that I don’t talk about my personal life. I’m saying that, but there is no way to hide or deny who God made me, you know? My mama knows, my mama likes me a lot. And yes, I take her to The Sound of Music sing-along every single year. So, any questions? But you know, honestly, we’re humans and we love and we do all that good stuff. So I’m honored for this opportunity and I’m honored to be here with you.”

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  1. Chizzie
    March 10, 08:02 Reply

    Abeg who is Jussie again ooh!? Jamal or Jamal ex’s bf ( that clingy white one) or his new bf? …and yeah I’ve succumbed to the pressures of society and started watching the darn show,and its a love hate thing for me. I think its a cheesy ghetto soap opera but I can’t get it out of my mind, mostly cus of Cookie. !

    • pinkpanthertb
      March 10, 08:04 Reply

      Jussie is Jamal (picture of the dude with Ellen should have alerted you). And yea, Cookie is the draw to that show. Taraji P. Henson gives me life with her shenanigans.

  2. Weirdo
    March 10, 08:08 Reply

    Me: Hi Mom!

    Can I take you Club Cubana?
    It is ladies night out and we r having a Beyonce sing along. Let’s let our hair down gurllllllllllll!

    Mum: Slaps me into China, calls family meeting and books a visit to Tb Joshua!

    Coming out………..The latest rave after Hollywood baby boom!
    Pls oh, am having a redecoration of my closet, any Interior decor in Abj? A tried and trusted one!

  3. Dubem
    March 10, 08:12 Reply

    Oh yay! Jussie is out. Oya o, Jack Falahee of HTGAWM, you’re up next. lol

  4. Mitch
    March 10, 08:24 Reply

    OMG! This is killing! I literally died reading this comment.

  5. kendigin
    March 10, 08:28 Reply

    i knew this was coming for a long time. But its no news. After watching The Skinny, it was clear hes gay. There jst some things straight people cant fake.

    i love the guy tho. Coming out is very courageous

  6. Gerald
    March 10, 08:33 Reply

    “… I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect my home” . This is the quote of the day.

  7. Pete
    March 10, 08:35 Reply

    Now, that’s a guy I’m willing to roll in the sheets with

  8. Deola
    March 10, 08:37 Reply

    Good for you Jussie.
    Malik Yoba, you gotta learn how to control what jumps out of your mouth, mistake or not, outing someone before they are ready to come out is so not cool…and then that retraction you did, hahahaha nigga you tried it tho. Lol

    • pinkpanthertb
      March 10, 08:38 Reply

      ‘I was misquoted’… Seriously? The oldest celebrity excuse in the book.

  9. DeadlyDarius
    March 10, 10:02 Reply

    I have a teensy question: he declined to talk about his personal life (i.e sexuality) in a daytime show but preferred a backstage interview. Will a backstage ish lead to less press or mean fewer news agencies will run the story? Or he’s just shy of strange faces


    • pinkpanthertb
      March 10, 11:06 Reply

      I wondered about that too. I mean, its not like Ellen’s audience are permitted to ask questions of the guests on the show.

  10. Max
    March 10, 10:05 Reply

    His sexuality has never been a secret Na. Hian.
    People can like to vent their anger unnecessarily. All these social media ppl should go and rest jor. The show is beginning to take shape now..

    • DeadlyDarius
      March 10, 12:25 Reply

      Yes they channeled their inner ‘acteurs’ *in faux French accent*

  11. Bane Salazar
    March 11, 17:36 Reply

    Noone outed this dude smfh. He’s been out and gay for the longest time. Acted a few gay movies and stuff (remember the skinny?) And he is well known in the gay community in the US.

    If people are still speculating out there because they just got to know him via Empire it only goes to show how unknown or small a role gay Hollywood plays in the general Hollywood scene. Many lgbt people themselves dont even watch or even know any gay movies or shows. Smh.

    Even more annoying is how he himself is just rolling around in the media hype of it all.

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