Although it may seem like [it turned out to be that] art was imitating a life in the closet for Fox TV drama Empire star Jussie Smollett, newsflash: he’s never been in the closet acting, imitating (or hiding).
The fact of the matter is, his character (Jamal) on the hit tv show just so happens to play a gay character which obviously (like with any actor in any role) if you play it just that well) fans and viewers will often ‘simile’ you: Wonder if you are like the character you play-in real life.
Questions swirling around Smollett’s sexual preface began to spiral-but as an actor with a family and home + private life like any other citizen (hetero or not), Smollett felt that despite being a public figure, his private life was something he chose to safeguard.
He told Ellen DeGeneres while in stopping by her show on Monday:
“There is no closet, there’s never been a closet that I’ve been in. I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home. So that’s why I choose not to talk about my personal life. Let’s not read into it in the wrong way when I say that I don’t talk about my personal life,” he continued.
“I’m saying that, but it is in no way to hide or deny who God made me. We’re human and we love and we do all that good stuff.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 9, 2015
After Empire co-star Malik Yoba was accused of outing him in an interview last week (by which he later stated he was misquoted) and rather than talking about Smollett the actor-he was speaking of Smollett’s gay character: Jamal [during an interview where it was misinterpreted as quite the opposite].
Empire’s success is largely due to its bold and in your face approach to bringing its character’s-real life personalities of real people who live life in ways inspired by many of the characters on the show.
Smollett’s character “Jamal” (the middle son and singer/songwriter of the ‘Lyon’ family) has played a key part in the series’ first season with him having come out to the hip-hop community via song in episode 8 to the disdain of (and despite threats of his homophobic father-Lucious-played by Terrence Howard). Check it out: