Activists call on NAACP to drop Jussie Smollett’s Image Award nom


Tasos Katopodis | Getty Images

Jussie Smollett attends the Thurgood Marshall College Fund gala on Oct. 23, 2017 in Washington, DC.

A black conservative group is calling on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to drop Jussie Smollett from the list of nominees for an Image Award after the actor was arrested on the suspicion of filing a false police report claiming to have been the victim of a hate crime.

Project 21, an activist group sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, said Smollett “does not deserve honor after arrest for hate crimes hoax.”

“Everyone has a reason to be disappointed with Jussie Smollett right now, and these accumulated reasons justify the NAACP taking swift and appropriate action to remove him from consideration for its Image Award,” Council Nedd, co-chairman of Project 21, said in a statement Monday.

Smollett was nominated for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his work on “Empire.” The Image Awards is an event that celebrates the achievements and performances of people of color as well as individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

The Image Award nomination came before Smollett was charged with 16 counts of disorderly misconduct for allegedly lying to the Chicago police.

Representatives for Smollett and the NAACP’s Image Awards did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

This isn’t the first time that Project 21 has contested the Image Award’s nominees. In 2004, the group criticized the NAACP for allowing R&B singer R. Kelly to keep his nomination for outstanding album despite the fact that he was under indictment for alleged child pornography violations.

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