With prosecutors increasingly convinced that Empire star Jussie Smollett orchestrated his own hate-crime attack in Chicago last month, Bill Maher used a portion of Friday’s Real Time to opine on what Smollett’s illicit actions means for the network destined to indefinitely keep him in the news cycle. “Fox News will dine out on this,” Maher explained. “Of course Fox News loves this story because it proves their stupid theory that racism is a hoax.” Smollett, Maher said, “wanted to be a victim without going through all the steps,” adding that people should take caution in immediately believing all victims of alleged crimes. “I feel like we’ve gone from this place where I hear people say, victims should be believed. Victims should be taken seriously. Victims should not always be believed.” For what it’s worth, Maher didn’t believe Smollett’s story after watching his first on-air interview: “I saw Jussie’s interview with Robin Roberts, and he’s not a good actor.”
Earlier this week, Smollett was charged with making a false police report, which is a felony disorderly conduct charge that could bring jail time and/or monetary fines. He has maintained his innocence, despite prosecutors laying out, in detail, how Smollett staged the attack with the help of two friends. Empire has since cut Smollett from the final two episodes of the season.