There was controversy surrounding Smollett’s Image Awards nomination. The actor was nominated for the most outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his role as Jamal Lyons on the primetime TV show “Empire.” He was accused of faking a racist, anti-gay attack on himself in January, but prosecutors decided to dismiss all 16 felony counts against him.
Rock had a lot to say about Smollett, even though “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams won in Smollett’s category during the untelevised portion of the show at the awards dinner Friday.
“They said ‘No Jussie Smollett jokes,’” Rock said. “What a waste of light skin. Do you know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here! I’d be running Hollywood. What the hell was he thinking? You’re ‘Jessie’ from now on. You don’t get the ‘u’ no more. That ‘u’ was respect. You ain’t getting no respect from me!”
Some folks took to Twitter and said they have no respect for Rock’s remarks—pointing to a video clip that surfaced in December showing Rock ignoring fellow comedians Louis C.K. and Ricky Gervais to use the N-word.
In the 2011 HBO special, Rock tells C.K. he’s the “blackest white guy I know.” C.K. responds: “You say I’m a n—–?”
Rock replies: “Yes, you are the n—–est white man.”
C.K. points out that he and Rock use the N-word in their comic routines. Gervais says he doesn’t use the racial slur in his performances but uses the N-word in the clip. C.K. laughs that he and Gervais use the word in their personal life.
There were plenty of notable award winners Saturday night. Music industry giant and entrepreneur Jay-Z received the President’s Award for his public service achievements. Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, won the Chairman’s award, and “Black Panther” won Outstanding Motion Picture.
But on Sunday morning, a lot of the talk centered on Rock and Smollett.
Scroll down to see some of the clap back at Rock.