Actor and singer Jussie Smollet confirmed the worst kept secret in Hollywood. The 31-year-old 'Empire' star came out as gay during an interview with lesbian daytime host Ellen Degeneres.
During his guest appearance Smollet discussed the popularity of the hip hop soap opera 'Empire' which has reached new heights in the ratings race every week. But despite all the hoopla, 'Empire' has yet to pull in the staggering numbers of 1990s TV sitcoms 'Cosby Show' or 'A Different World'.
At one point Ellen asked Smollet what was happening in his personal life since his character, Jamal Lyons, came out on the show.
Smollet appeared to avoid the question.
"Well what’s happening in my life, it’s been great. You know I get some ignorant tweets every once in a while you know, and I know you’re not supposed to respond, but sometimes you got to clap back! You know what I’m saying. By all means my mother, who’s in the back right now, she’s absolutely an activist. And I’m a firm believer that people cannot get away with murder although I love “How to get away with murder.” But you cannot allow people to just spew hate and be ok. I have a tattoo that’s the first line in “Man in the Mirror” that says, “I’m going to make a change.” And I just feel that, as tenants of this earth, it’s our job to make a difference and make the world better and we can’t just sit around and let people spew nasty things and just think that’s OK. It’s not OK."
So after the taping, Ellen caught up with Smollet backstage and asked him more directly what was up with him.
Smollet, who is mixed race and born in Brazil, finally came clean without actually saying the words "I'm gay." He admitted that he has never been in the closet and he said his mother "knows" and she loves and accepts him.
Kudos to Smollet for finally coming out of the closet. He can now stop pretending to be is interested in women and live his life as an openly gay actor and singer. He should go far in today's current climate of tolerance and acceptance for all things gay.
Watch the video below.