Matt C. Abbott
Briefly sharing the stage with Smollett
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By Matt C. Abbott
December 10, 2021

I guess this could be considered a footnote in my life.

Several years ago I briefly shared the stage with now-convicted felon Jussie Smollett during the filming of an episode of Empire. In fact, I worked as a background actor – usually playing a roadie – on several episodes.

Below is a screenshot of me holding a microphone; Smollett is on the left wearing a blue jacket with his fist in the air. (Empire co-star Terrence Howard is behind me and to the right, also with his fist in the air.)

Smollett never spoke to me, but there were times on set when he used vulgar language in his interactions with others.

Not exactly shocking, of course.

One somewhat humorous anecdote:

In the concert scene the screenshot is from, Smollett’s character in the show, Jamal Lyon, is supposed to experience stage fright due to trauma from a gunshot wound he suffered in a previous episode. He walks up to the microphone, starts to sing, freaks out at seeing the crowd and bright lights, then runs off the stage having a panic attack.

After a few takes, Smollett became agitated and walked off stage while saying angrily and loudly (paraphrased), “Look, I don’t want to be a diva, but I can’t deal with this right now. This is a difficult scene!”

Just off stage right, I was standing next to Howard, who said equally loudly, “Don’t worry, Jussie, you’re not being a diva... You’re being a b – h!”

Bottom line: I’m glad Smollett was convicted of the hate crime hoax. He’s clearly an unapologetic narcissist.

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 "Unsolved" podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He is mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)

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