A week after GMA aired her exclusive interview with Jussie Smollett, Robin Roberts says she’s not happy that the 36-year-old Empire actor lied to her face.
“It’s a setback for race relations [and] homophobia,” she said Thursday. “I cannot think of another case where there’s this anger on so many sides, and you can understand why there would be.”
Roberts added that “the fingers were pointed” at MAGA supporters in an unfair way.
Coming up next this Thursday morn @GMA my interview with @JussieSmollett. He gives a detailed account of what happened that night in Chicago. In our last hour…you'll hear his message to young gay youth and the LGBTQ community.
— Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts) February 14, 2019
Earlier in the week, Roberts defended her decision to interview Smollett, saying that, given the information she had at the time, she had no reason to think he was being dishonest with her.
“We have to remember, at that time, on Tuesday, police officers were saying that his account was consistent, it was credible, and that he was being cooperative,” she said.
“Now this was all before the interview aired on Thursday, and then we found out about the brothers (Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo Osundairo, who told police Smollett paid them to help him stage the attack).”
— Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts) February 21, 2019
And while this is certainly true, Robins can’t be blamed for something she didn’t know, The Blast reports that some GMA staffers had their suspicions.
The Blast reports:
According to our sources, some of the people who were in the room during the interview felt the validity of Smollett’s story was “up in the air” after his conversation with Roberts. Our sources say when Smollett and his team left the room after the interview was completed, there was immediately a feeling among the “GMA” staffers that something about Smollett’s story was amiss.
We’re told the interview came about because Smollett approached “GMA” about doing the sit-down, which was a very coveted interview to score. Our sources say Smollett specifically requested Robin Roberts for the interview because the two had a history together–Roberts appeared on an episode of “Empire” that aired in April 2018.
After turning himself into police, Jussie Smollett posted $100,000 bail yesterday and has since been released from custody. Meanwhile, the producers of Empire have stated that Smollett has been suspended from the series for the remainder of the season.