Supporters, fans, communities hurt by Smollett

In an early episode of the popular Fox series “Empire,” about the rise, fall and rise of the music industry powerhouse Lyon family, there’s a scene in which patriarch Lucious (Terrence Howard), incensed by his son Jamal’s (Jussie Smollett) effeminate ways, punishes the young man by tossing him into a trashcan.

The cringeworthiness of this scene and Lucious’s ongoing torture of Jamal throughout his childhood, gives way to cheers as we see Jamal’s evolution from victim of horrific...

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