‘Empire’s’ Jussie Smollett Comes Out to Ellen Degeneres: ‘There Is No Closet’
Coming out publicly for the first time, the gorgeous actor-singer poignantly spoke to Degeneres after their interview, one-on-one.
Degeneres asked Smollett, “We saw that particular scene that was a couple weeks ago your character comes out and what’s happened since your character came out on the show. How are you? What’s happening in your life?
Smollett replied candidly,, but rather vaguely
What’s happening in my life, it’s been great. You know I get some ignorant tweets every once in a while you know, and I know you’re not supposed to respond, but sometimes you got to clap back! You know what I’m saying. By all means my Mother, who’s in the back right now, she’s absolutely an activist. And I’m a firm believer that people cannot get away with murder although I love “How to get away with murder.” But you cannot allow people to just spew hate and be ok. I have a tattoo that’s the first line in “Man in the Mirror” that says, “I’m going to make a change.” And I just feel that, as tenant’s of this earth it’s our job to make a difference and make the world better and we can’t just sit around and let people spew nasty things and just think that’s ok. It’s not ok.
After they finished the interview, Smollett was compelled to speak with Ellen privately about his sexuality, saying “It was very, very important to me that, as my first performance and talk show that it was with you. You’ve been such an inspiration to so many, but also to me. What you’ve done with, in the LGBT community is very much in my opinion kind of like what Michael Jackson did with the black community just that you are who you are.”
He continued, “And he was just Michael and you’re just Ellen so 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, but I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home.
“That’s why I choose not to talk bout 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.”
Wow what a day. I did my first live television performance of #GoodEnough on @theellenshow and all the ladies in my family came including my best friend in the world… My beautiful baby niece. #FamilyFirst Thank you #ELLEN for being my light. Yall catch the episode Monday March 9. #Empire #UncleJussie
Ellen thanked him, commenting, “Thank you so much. Because I think when I brought up the fact that your character came out and we talked about it and you were expressing yourself I think a lot of people are still questioning and when we finished the show they were like is he, isn’t he? And listen, I think the most important thing is talent the most important thing is what we do. And we don’t want anything to get in the way of that.
“But there are questions out there so I think that’s why it was my responsibility to at least give you the opportunity. And I am so proud of you that you say there is no closet there never has been a closet. You’ve never pretending to be anything that you aren’t.”
— Jussie Smollett (@JussieSmollett) March 4, 2015
Smollett added sweetly, “So lets not read into it the wrong when I say that I don’t talk about my personal life, I’m saying that. But it is in no way to hide or deny who G-d made me. Ya 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 honored to be here with you.”
With a laugh, he and Degeneres wrapped it up with Jussie saying, “Boom. Now you don’t even gotta ask no more…I told Ellen. Who else do I need to tell?”
Watch the first part of Jussie Smollett’s interview in the video below, and see him speak with Ellen Degeneres behind the scenes in the video above.