On January 29, 2019, Smollett told police that he was attacked outside his apartment building by two men in ski masks. He reported they talked to him using racial and homophobic slurs and said, “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.” This proved to be a complete fabrication and the alleged “assailants” were both black and appeared to have been paid off by Smollett in what amounted to a hate crime hoax. He was subsequently arrested and is about to go on trial over the faked hate crime.
But that didn’t stop celebrities and the members of the media from preemptively coming to his defense. Here’s a list of all those who tried to defend Smollett’s hate crime hoax: