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Jussie Smollett kicked off his directorial debut with BET+ “B-Boy Blues.” The LGBTQ+-centric show will debut on the streaming network on June 9, just in time for Pride Month.
This project is the first for Smollett since he was convicted of falsely reporting what he claimed was a hate crime. He was later sentenced to 30 months probation, 150 days in jail, after making false statements to police in January 2019 that he had been the victim of a hate crime.
“Through our slate of content, we intend to represent the fullness of the black experience, including that of the LGBTQ+ community,” Devin Griffin, executive vice president/general manager of BET+, told Variety. “‘B-Boy Blues’ is a shrewd, heartbreaking film about the complexity of love – something we can all relate to.”
“B-Boy Blues” is based on the novel by James Earl Hardy and will star Timothy Richardson, Brandee Evans, Marquise Vilson, Broderick Hunter and Thomas Mackie.
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The independent film debuted in 2021 at the American Black Film Festival. The film won the Narrative Feature Fan Favorite Award.
Smollett’s first project since being released from prison is described as “a clash of class and culture when Mitchell Crawford, a college-educated reporter from Brooklyn and Raheim Rivers, a bike messenger from Harlem, fall in love.”
“B-Boy Blues is a beautifully edgy, funny and heartwarming bro-mance and I was thrilled to partner with Jussie to help this wonderful film gain greater exposure,” Mona Scott-Young of Monami Entertainment told the exit.
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“Falling head over heels and fighting for love are universal emotions and experiences and we are so grateful to BET+ for shining a spotlight on the still seriously underrepresented black LGBTQ+ community and bringing this story to life. hard-hitting love to an even wider audience.
Three weeks after Smollett’s release from prison, he released a song called “Thank You God”.
The former ‘Empire’ star shared the single on her Instagram account, which her bio says is “currently run by” the Smollett family.
In the caption of the post, it is noted that “100% of proceeds will be donated” to Rainbow Push Coalition, the Illinois Innocence Project and Secure the Bag Safety.
The one-minute social media preview begins with a clip that reads, “CHANNEL THESE THOUGHTS THE BEST WAY I KNOW HOW. I LOVE YOU… – JUSSIE.”
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Smollett then sings, “It’s like they bent on not solving the crime / Eliminating the elements of race, trans and homophobia that directly take lives / But turn around and act like I was the one who killed progress.”
Elsewhere on the track, he says, “Some people chasing fame / Some people chasing that weight / Just remember this…it’s not that situation / You think I’m dumb enough to kill my reputation.”
“Just to just look like a victim / Like it’s something fun / You better watch somebody else / You got it wrong.”
On March 16, Smollett was released from the Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois, after a court cleared him pending an appeal of his conviction.
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He had spent six days behind bars of his 150-day sentence after being convicted of lying to Chicago police about being the victim of a hate crime in 2019. The actor was found guilty guilty of five counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police.
Fox News’ Mariah Haas contributed to this report.
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