Robin Roberts: Jussie Smollett Was The “Most Challenging” Interview I’ve Ever Done
When it was reported that Jussie Smollett got attacked weeks ago in Chicago in the early hours of the morning, fans, family and friends were shocked and speechless. When it was reported that it was a racist attack, even more people felt for the actor. Jussie’s first exclusive interview after the event was with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts (who he requested) and the host has recently opened up about how it was the “most challenging interviews” she’s ever done.
At the time of the interview (that took place on Tuesday, February 12th) Jussie was still being looked at as the victim but as we now know he’s being labeled as a suspect after allegedly staging the whole thing. Robin told The Cut’s How I Get It Done that she didn’t want to do the interview at first because she assumed he would “lawyer up,” but things changed.
“They said, ‘He wants to say things that he has not said’ and I’m like, ‘As a journalist, as a newsperson, this is newsworthy, he’s going to go on record for the first time, yes I’ll do the interview,’” she explained. Robin detailed how she tried to be as neutral as possible due to the pressure she felt from the LGBTQ community.
“I’m a black gay woman, he’s a black gay man,” she said. “He’s saying that there’s a hate crime, so if I’m too hard, then my LGBT community is going to say, ‘You don’t believe a brother,’ if I’m too light on him, it’s like, ‘Oh, because you are in the community, you’re giving him a pass.’”
She added: “It was a no-win situation for me.” To this day Robin explained how people wonder how she couldn’t tell he was lying, but she said that only 48 hours after doing the interview did news break about the two brothers who said they were hired to stage the attack.
“Had I had that information or [knew] what the brothers were alleging, heck yeah, I would have asked him about that,” she said.