‘Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett Gets Why His Sexuality is Something to Talk About

jussie smollett
Image courtesy of Scott Kirkland/FOX

Earlier this week, “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett confirmed that he’s gay in a backstage interview with Ellen DeGeneres, saying, “There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in.” Smollett told Variety that the reaction since that moment has been great.

“It was a bigger deal to everyone than it was for me,” he said. “But at the same time I do understand why it is something to talk about.”

Smollett said he hopes to use the platform as a way to make other people feel less alone, and re-emphasized that his personal life is off-limits.

“I didn’t talk to Ellen so that people could, be like ‘oh my God, let’s see what Jussie does in his bedroom in his private life.’ But I did talk to her so that people understood that they’re not alone. That’s all.”

Smollett’s character on “Empire,” Jamal Lyon, who is also gay, explores the issues associated with being homosexual, including his tense relationship with his father. Smollett says getting to play his character is one of the most beautiful experiences of his life.

“You don’t always get these experiences as an artist of [playing] roles where you feel the impact of what you’re doing, but I do. And that as an artist, as an activist, as a man, it’s feeding my soul.”

Watch Jussie’s conversation with Ellen below:

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  1. FAVOUR GAYBU says:


  2. PORTIA says:


  3. christlike Nanaba Francis says:

    smollette i were your fan but getting to know you are a gay am not again because de people i hit most in this world are gays

  4. OKEMAH Humphrey says:

    Thanks Smollett for aiding most of us by the courage you’ve portrayed especially for most of us in Africa where it is vastly homophobic you truly inspire us keep on with what you doing and God will truly bless you for what you continue to do

  5. thandekile says:

    I luv jamal Lyon I wll meet him one day and he’ll specially 4 me and my best frnd

  6. Faith abi says:

    GOD knows wats best for u…Meet u one day.lv u

  7. Yolanda Hamilton says:

    Well, Jussie Smollet is still one of the best male singers. I literally love his music. I don’t care about his private life. His hot.

  8. cdhaskell says:

    I still can’t believe that people are making a big deal about a person who that they are going to bed with. It is no one business. I hope that the rating for Empire will become a bigger hit for Jessie Smollett is one of the hottest actor-singer.

  9. the empire actor “jussie smollett” is the best Singer i ever heard and know how to touch people ‘s hearts when he sing’s or act.

  10. claudiabonnie@rocketmail.com says:

    The music in “Empire” series is great!, enjoyable, really gets the beat going. The only problem was that each song was too short. The enjoyment stops too soon. There is so much more that could be done.!!!

  11. Sexy NaNa says:

    I love jussie soooo much….keep doing ur thang…can’t wait for (Empire) to return.

    • cdhaskell says:

      It is must be a slow day when the biggest news is about the person love life is the biggest thing in interviews and not his role on the series and future CD release.

  12. korah says:

    Am I the only who thinks he just smoothed over not saying what his stance is? What he said did not confirm or deny his sexuality. But OK. If he were proud of who he was he would have said it. Like Ellen did.

  13. BarbieApril says:

    Hi ……. Nothing much to say bt like yoir part in Empire and dia dat voice kills me u make watch empire contiously

  14. Cassie says:

    Jussie some think you are a jerk and a mistake for being and accepting who you are..i think it not your fault and it sweet..as a matter of fact i watch and is still watching the show ‘EMPIRE’ because of you..(i like you just the way you are)..you don’t need a billion fans to love, be free and appreciate yourself..it doesn’t matter what people say about you what matters is how you feel about yourself..your choice is yours

  15. Mari says:

    Well duuuh! No straight man no matter how great an actor can do such gay sex scenes. These are very intimate scenes not just holding hands and hugging like on Modern Family where one actor is straight. Any man who can do the Empire gay sex scenes and still claim he’s straight is a liar; period. That being said it would be a better show if the sex scenes (hetero and homo) weren’t so graphic. We know what sex is. We don’t need a blow by blow (pun intended). We don’t want porn. We want great storylines.

  16. Uliem Precious says:

    Jussie smollet as jamal is my best actor and his acting (gay), for me really is outstanding one and his wonderfull KUDOS for his

  17. vera says:

    I love you Jussie especially your smile. keep it up

  18. klinton says:

    I love u. just the way u re n WO u re.. you’re my mentor..kip d flame burning men..one love.. I wish to see u one day n tell u hw ur role in empire touchd me..m ur biggest fan u can ever imaging..love ya

  19. amya brice says:

    I love you i love how you sing I love to sing and to dance I wish I can be on empire

  20. Ayikoru Diana says:

    Still luv u coz its ur personal

  21. Jeff novak says:

    His sexuality doesn’t matter. He is a multi talented , singer, actor, artist. His skills make him exciting. I enjoy his music,his acting and I wish him continued success. His sexual preference is his personal business not mine. Give him some respect for all his skills and privacy for his personal life.

  22. Even says:

    U did a great thing jussie I am one of your fun ! Like your songs and moves u make in empire ! All I could say is keep on ! Give moral to those who are like u !

  23. Gloria says:

    I love you Jussie Smollets and I won’t hurt you cause u matter

  24. loise says:

    that’s kind of shocking to know that.though its nice to get straight with things.

  25. epeterson094 says:

    So annoying.

  26. No matter you always be favourite singer,actor 💓💓💓💓💓💓💓i love you jussie

  27. Kevin Allen says:

    I think your wounderful, god dont make mistake

    • Amina says:

      GOD didn’t make amid take, nature did just as it does sometimes in utero with people who get too much of this & not enough of that, as intended. Common sense tells you that the design was intended for a man & woma. Something happened in utero that through the “design” off. It happens inbatureALL IF THEVTIME” stop making it sound like its GOD’s will- give me abreak not anymore than babies born with another human attached to their rib or with mental deficiencies, physical deformaties. NOT GOD, NATURE & MAN”

  28. Roce says:

    I love the idea that jussie loves his life,his being and apparently he accepts himself. I love that.

  29. love says:

    Regardless Jussie smollett situation I still think he’s a very handsome dude too bad though hopefully I will find me someone like him someone that is sweet caring thoughtful like his character cuz obviously I don’t Really know him as a person personally

  30. philip joseph says:

    Hello Jussie ..am very proud of you for your steps and for the way you perceive things especially in this context of gaysm .Honestly you have just increased my bravery and I like you dear.

  31. Anonymous says:

    God made male and female. It’s a male or female choice to be gay. Not God made me gay. The accountability is with the male or female not God

  32. Gcobisa says:

    OMG ! I don’t like it :( , you hot,handsome, I mean you’ve got everything that a girl wants from a guy , but I can’t tell you how to feel , maybe its God who created you to become gay !

    • shut the fuck up says:

      You sound like a stupid ass loon. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone and
      I know you are not without sin. Only god can judge and you are not god

    • Wakeupworld says:

      I think it’s sad myself. AND we can’t blame God for everything sometimes we need to know when the devil is involved. This land has been full with spirits for many years long before the white man took over. To the natives it’s something special. But even if your not religious and just spiritual you know there are also evil spirits!

  33. Mainey says:

    I dont care what anyone says… I am sad about this…cuz he’s HOT! lol. I like Sound of Music…

  34. Domo says:

    to be totally honest, I’m not bothered by gays at all. Or any other sexuality. It’s all good in the hood, know what I mean? lol

  35. lilly says:

    Kudos for accepting who you really are not all can do that and the fact is one cannot change the way a person was born. It aint your fault you are that way.

  36. Mili says:

    I dont care you are so beauty and special a big kiss from me venezuelan fans!

  37. Margrette says:

    That dont change a thing gay or not. U still human and handsome as HELL😃😃😃😃

  38. donnie says:

    I think I want to start your fan club here in the Midwest if its not already done all u can say is THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

  39. donnie says:

    I just love Jussie Smollett and his positive roll that he’s portraying it really does give hope to those who really has to live that lifestyle behind the scenes of their own music career. Thank you Mr. Smollett for giving me something to push for in my career

  40. Lebrien says:

    I’m a little Ghanaian boy Jussie,i want you to know that i love everything about you.I’m talented with singing just like you and i pray to become just like you in the near future .

  41. Mrs. David Johnson says:

    Hello, This is the maid that met with you who hadn’t seen Empire before. I want you to know that I’m glued to my kitchen chair watching it. It is everything you promised. I will definitely follow your career. I got laid off and until i finish this entire show I will be in the kitchen. Let you know when I finish. Chicago

    • cdhaskell says:

      Jussie Smollett didn’t wanted to play the straight game. He wanted to go out in the public with his date without worry about some camera taking his picture with his date and sell it to some gossip magazine for any kind of money. He went on Ellen and tell his side of the story. Good luck to his career and the second season of Empire.

  42. Tiana says:


  43. MeziahGordon says:

    I’m your only biggest fan but the first one is my best friend

  44. kofo says:

    I always love you

  45. Tiana says:

    Hi jussie I love empire and I love you to. Ps I love your movie the skinny

  46. Hi Jussie My Name Is Shianne I Love Ur Show N Movie The Skinny U Are So Cute I Love Ur Voice To Im From Pittsburgh Pa.

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