Photo by Broadimage/REX
New Fox series, Empire, has been an unbelievably massive success since airing in mid-January. In fact the series has been so well received, it has already been signed on for a second season only a few episodes into the first.
The story-line enraptures audiences with unbelievable performances by the actors, such as 31-year old Jussie Smollett, who plays Terrence Howard’s character’s gay son on the show. His role on the show has opened up a lot of speculation and gossip about his real-life sexuality and Smollett openly addressed it for the first time during an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday March 9.
Smollett dodged questions about his personal life for the main interview, but asked Ellen to do a special backstage conversation with him in which he talked candidly about his sexuality.
“It was very, very important to me that, as my first performance and talk show that it was with you,” he told Ellen. “You’ve been such an inspiration to so many, but also to me. What you’ve done with, in the LGBT community is very much in my opinion kind of like what Michael Jackson did with the black community just that you are who you are.”
He went on to emphasize that just because he hasn’t talked about his sexuality directly, he wasn’t hiding it, “It was really important to me to make sure it got across there is no closet. There’s never been a closet. That I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don’t have a closet, but I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect my home.”
Ellen then praised the actor for his words, “You’ve never pretended to be anything that you aren’t.”
“Ever, ever,” he agreed. “So lets not read into it the wrong when I say that I don’t talk about my personal life, I’m saying that. But it is in no way to hide or deny who God made me. Ya know?”
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Watch Smollett’s interview below!