"The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah weighed in on the Jussie Smollett saga following reports that the "Empire" actor was arrested on Thursday in Chicago and charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.
Smollett's arrest comes three weeks after the 36-year-old American actor and singer claimed that he was assaulted in a racist and homophobic hate crime. Police investigations, however, soon uncovered holes in Smollett's story, and have reportedly linked him to the two Nigerian brothers accused of the attack.
According to Chicago police, Smollett was in regular communication with the pair, and paid them $3500 (about R49 000) to attack him. It is believed that Smollett staged the attack over a salary grievance and to boost his career.
During a recent episode of the late-night show, Noah branded Smollett an a**hole for using hate crime for trivial reasons.
"Jussie Smollet. A month ago, few people knew who he was ... but now, the whole world knows his name, and it's for all the wrong reasons," Noah said.
"...This dude may have faked a hate crime just to get a raise?" asked Trevor Noah. "What’s the logic there? You get your ass beat and then you go to your boss and go, 'Hey, I need another million dollars, I need to buy some band-aids?' What was the thinking? That’s not a good way to get a raise, people.”
Noah then asked what happened to the "old-fashioned" way of blackmailing.
“I mean call me old-fashioned, but whatever happened to just going into your boss' office and blackmailing him with nudes?” Noah asked. "This is such a petty reason to pull off such a major crime. Imagine if we found out the reason Tupac faked his own death was to get out of a Blockbuster late fee."
Noah also poked fun at Smollett and his alleged accomplices for leaving incriminating breadcrumbs.
"They’re saying he paid his accomplices with a cheque,” Noah continued. "What, did he also write ‘fake hate crime’ in the memo? Even amateurs know, if you commit a crime, you go all cash people!"
He then slammed Smollet's acting abilities. The actor reportedly wanted the attack to be caught on camera but failed to do so because he didn't know what direction it was pointing.
"You're an actor, that's your only job!" Noah quipped. Adding: "The Jussie Smollett saga began as a story of people who hated him because he was black and gay. Now, people just hate him because he’s an asshole. In other words, they're judging him on the contents of his character and not the colour of his skin, and that my friends, is progress."