Jussie Smollett was adamant that his character Jamal Lyon not have a white boyfriend on the Fox series “Empire.”
Speaking on the SiriusXM radio show “The Clay Cane Show,” the 35-year-old out actor says it was important for him to show a loving relationship between two black men.
“There was talk about Jamal having a white boyfriend and I said, ‘F**k no!’ Not for any reason except we have a responsibility and we have a such a beautiful opportunity to show two black men in a relationship together, in a healthy relationship. But it was important to say and that wasn’t anything against white men. It was just a thing of no, no, no, no… this is what I hope, this what I want to see, this what I wished I had seen as a kid because if I had seen certain things as an adolescent I would have had a much different understanding of who I am in an earlier space. I do think that is important to show,” Smollett says.
Smollett also praised the film “Moonlight” for its portrayal of black, gay male sexuality and masculinity.
“It was just beautiful,” Smollett says. “It was also not about sexuality, it was actually about masculinity and the rules that are put on little boys, specifically little black boys, from the moment that they are born that we never really talk about.”
“Empire” airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.