By seemingly faking his own hate crime, Jussie Smollett has made it difficult for the actual victim of hate crimes to come forward and be taken seriously.
He owes the African-American and LGBTQ community a string of apologies, that's much is certain.
But President Donald Trump isn't overly concerned about those minority groups.
He's worried instead about the folks truly victimized by Smollett's heinous hoax, who just happen to be the same folks to whom Trump directs all of his Tweets:
.@JussieSmollett - what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA," the Commander-in-Chief wrote not long after Smollett was arresred this morning.
MAGA, of course, stands for Make America Great Again.
It's the tagline the President has used since the 2016 election and its shorthand is what his long-time supporters often use as hashtags and/or during chants in support of Trump.
In the telling of his story to the police late last month, Smollett told authorities that his two attackers were:
2. Screamed racial and homophobic epithets at him.
3. Yelled that he was in "MAGA country" during this supposed attack.
It's since been exposed that none of these things were true.
According to the Chicago Police Department, who took Smollett into custody on Thursday morning and charged him with falsifying an official report, Smollett paid two men to pretend to be his assailants.
He inflicted his own facial wounds and he paid these men a total of $3,000 for their role in the incident.
For what possible reason?!?
Because, the police superintendent said at a press conference, Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary on Empire.
Among many other questions surrounding this bizarre situation is now this:
What does the future on Empire hold for Smollett?
He had just returned to filming the last few episodes of this season when suspicions started being raised about his staging of this assault.
It seems impossible to believe that the show could keep him on board as a cast member, even with the presumption of innocence afforded to indivduals under our legal system.
A short time ago, Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television released a statement that reads:
We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.
For Smollett, of course, his future as someone NOT behind bars is likely more pressing than his future in front of the camera.
In the view of Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, it's not MAGA nation to whom an apology is owed; it's the citizens of the Windy City.
"Absolute justice would be an apology to this city that he smeared, admitting what he did and then be man enough to offer what he should offer up in terms of resources put into this," he told reporters today.
Stay tuned to The Hollywood Gossip for even more on this story as stunning news breaks.