Malik Yoba Confirms Whether Or Not Jussie Smollett Is Gay
The instant success of the hit new drama series “Empire” can be much attributed to director Lee Daniels not being afraid to touch on a variety of controversial issues affecting the African-American community today, and one of the show’s most compelling story lines is that of Jussie Smollett’s character Jamal.
On the show, Jussie’s character Jamal is a multi-talented musician struggling with how to assert his sexuality to the world amid constant criticism of his lifestyle from his father Lucious Lyon, but recent comments Jussie made when asked about his sexuality in real life during an interview has some fans wondering if his art really does imitate his life.
When asked whether or not he’s gay in real life during a recent interview on the Sway in The Morning radio show, Jussie had this to say in response:
“I’m not willing to confirm or deny anything. I live my life. I don’t hide anything, I just don’t choose to talk about my personal life.”
Hmmmm. However, while Jussie is seemingly opting to keep it in the closet, his fellow “Empire” cast member Malik Yoba gave a much more straight-forwad answer to the burning question of his talented friend’s real-life sexuality. Hit the flip to read what he had to say.
Veteran actor and Jussie’s “Empire” co-star Malike Yoba recently sat down for an exclusive chat with Black Film and although Jussie may have been tight-lipped about his own personal life, that wasn’t quite the case with Malik.
via Black Film
What’s the feeling like being on a hit show?
Malik Yoba: Yeah. It’s good, man. It’s definitely good to be part of a show. Especially, this particularly show, but especially when all the predictors are there before it all happens. I knew that this would happen so I wasn’t surprised.
The show has the DNA of ‘New York Undercover’ for me and I was part of something that was revolutionary and groundbreaking twenty years ago. For me, from the beginning it was like déjà vu. So, with all the accolades and the love that it’s getting, it’s crazy. I’ve had that experience before. It’s just nice to know that people have finally decided if you put people who are underrepresented on television they’re going to show up to see themselves. And if it’s smart, if it’s funny, it has the right music and has the right fashion and has the right attitude then you’re going to win. You’ll win every time. It’s one of those things that you feel like, obviously, it’s great performances and music, and it’s a great cast. It’s all those things. But I think it speaks to a larger issue, which is people want to see themselves.
You’re the veteran of the group here, having experienced this nearly twenty years ago. Have you been telling these people as much as they’re seeing the love that it’s getting from its ratings wise and everything else, and said, ‘Okay, it’s great. But let’s make it last’?
Yoba: I just think that you have to move with integrity. You have to move with a larger sense of purpose. Because that is Malik Yoba’s personal philosophy. I don’t do this business for fame or money. I do it for purpose.
I think that our show represents a huge opportunity to stay in the culture beyond entertainment value and there’s an intrinsic nature of you have the gay factor, right? So, obviously, Lee is gay. That was an important storyline for him. I think it’s important for people to see themselves. Even within the Black community. But if you aren’t really, really taking it off of screen and making it live in the community in a significant way…like I know Jussie, he is gay, and he’s very committed to issues around the LGBT community. He and I have a very close relationship. There a lot of things that I’m doing. I have a company called iconic32.com. We create or enhance cultural movements for social good using pop culture.
And there you have it. Welp, at any rate, we’re definitely excited to see what’s in store next for Empire….are you??