Amanda Seales and Jeannie Mai got into a very heated debate on the February 12 episode of The Real. Amanda argued that if Jussie Smollett did stage a hate crime in January 2019, it was a “noble” act. Jeannie, however, strongly disagreed. The two cohosts battled it out about whether or not the Empire star should receive punishment if he is found guilty on a new six-count indictment for allegedly filing a false police report.
“I am very passionate about this because to this day, there are people in the LGBTQ community risking their lives and getting hurt, harm, or killed on the daily appeared in real life. And I have actually lost friends to these attacks in San Francisco,” Jeannie, 41, said in regard to Jussie, who claimed he was a victim of racial attacks and targeted for being gay. “So, if you really do to manifest for attention, then it is a heinous thing to do, and he has to pay the price.”
Amanda shot back, “Why aren't they bringing charges against all the white people that call the cops for BS every single day?”
Jeannie, however, argued that if Jussie is found guilty then it promotes “a culture out there where it becomes harder for us to believe victims.”
Amanda rolled her eyes and stated, “Even if it was a hoax, this is really happening all the time. And even if it was a hoax for the sake of bringing attention to this, that is low-key noble. I am at my wits' end about censoring situations like this and wanting to make people pay.”
“No one was hurt in this situation. You know what they're mad about? Their time, their resources being used. Taxpayers resources. Taxpayer's resources are being used every day to imprison people who have done nothing but being an addict. So I don't want to hear about Jussie Smollett,” she added.
Amanda then motioned that the Empire star should just get a smack on the wrist if he is guilty. “What do you think should happen?” she asked Jeannie. The Hello Hunnay host said she agreed with the prosecutor’s sentence, which would be up to three years. The former Insecure star continued to roll her eyes.
“We need the right thing to happen. But if he did stage a crime, there has to be a punishment for that,” Jeannie argued. “We also need to have justice for all of those crimes that actually did happen or didn’t happen.”
Amanda declared that the case was “a gross misuse of power and justice.”
Jussie was indicted by special prosecutor, Dan Webb, on new charges on February 11 for all allegedly making four separate false reports to the Chicago PD after he claimed he was a victim of a hate crime. This new indicted comes a year after Cook County state attorney Kim Foxx dropped charges on Jussie for filing a false report. On February 24, the actor will be arraigned.
Jeannie grew frustrated at her cohost and tried one last time to explain her viewpoint. “I am aware that there is injustice everywhere for hate crimes that have been on the daily that don't even have to do with gay rights. I understand that,” she said. “But I want to say we can't just dismiss this. There are also people who are not famous and do not get defended for the things I have to go through because they are gay.”