Robin Roberts on her interview with liar Jussie Smollet: “It was a no-win situation”

Smollett’s narrative was questionable from the start: Two white “rednecks” out in Chiraq at 2:00 am during freezing temperatures screaming, “This is MAGA country!”

Yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

From Hollywood Reporter: Robin Roberts on Monday revealed that she saw “red flags” in Jussie Smollett’s story and was subsequently hesitant about interviewing the Empire star on ABC’s Good Morning America. The sit-down, which aired Feb. 14, was Smollett’s first televised interview since his alleged hate crime attack and was broadcast one week before Smollett would go on to be charged with federal disorderly conduct for falsifying a police report.

The GMA anchor took a moment during her solo panel at The Cut’s first daylong “How I Get It Done” event to share details about the high-profile interview, including the details of how the ABC get unfolded and whether she believed Smollett during the process.

“All I wanted was to get to the truth,” Roberts told the intimate crowd, including The Hollywood Reporter, that had gathered at 1 Hotel Brooklyn. “All I wanted was to give the truth.”

While discussing details of the interview, which was shot two days prior to its airing, Roberts explained that the GMA booking department had initially reached out to her about sitting down with Smollett. Talks about the possible interview began shortly after the Empire star claimed he was attacked on a Chicago street in late January.

It was in those early internal conversations where Roberts first voiced her reluctance. “I’ll be completely honest, I said, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to do the interview or not,'” she said. “Let’s just wait and see, let’s see if more information comes in.”

There was rising speculation over Smollett’s account at the time, but it wasn’t until hours after the interview aired that a report hit that brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo (who are now witnesses in the Chicago Police Department’s case) were allegedly paid by Smollett to stage the attack. The narrative around Smollett began to significantly shift, but the interview was already locked.

Roberts pointed to comments made by Smollett during a Los Angeles concert in the days following his alleged attack as another key moment where she questioned speaking with the actor. She was adamant that interviewing Smollett made “no sense” if he was just going to “lawyer up” or refuse to be candid.

Roberts clarified to THR that her decision to talk with Smollett was contingent upon him sharing details that hadn’t been previously reported, which would make the interview newsworthy. “If there wasn’t going to be anything new, I didn’t really want to do it,” she said.

It was after those internal GMA conversations that Smollett reached out, “outraged by people making assumptions about whether it happened or not,” Roberts told THR and the crowd. According to the GMA anchor, Smollett’s team said that the actor was OK with being challenged on what Roberts saw as “red flags,” but that he’d also say things he hadn’t already said elsewhere.

“I’m like — as a journalist and as a newsperson, this is his right,” Roberts said. “He’s going on the record for the first time. Yes, I’ll do the interview.”

Roberts noted that her GMA team went through the police report and conducted other research to prepare for the interview, which was originally set for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, but was ultimately pushed back several hours due to the actor’s filming schedule. Roberts admitted during the panel that she wasn’t sure how it was going to go or how Smollett was going to react, but that she consciously worked to be as neutral as possible. She also was aware of her own identity as a gay black woman and how reporting on Smollett, a gay black man, might be perceived.

“He’s saying that it was a hate crime,” Roberts said. “So if I’m too hard on him, then people in my LGBTQ community are going, ‘Oh, you don’t believe him.’ If I’m too light on him, then it’s like, ‘Oh, because you are in the community, you’re giving him a pass.’ So it was, like, it was a no-win situation for me.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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LophattChemtrailssuckAlmaStarz Barz n A RzGrace Recent comment authors
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Grace
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Grace

She’s just another phoney media front… now doing damage control.

Starz Barz n A Rz
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Starz Barz n A Rz

Why can’t these media boneheads just admit…” The muthaf$ggin’ homo is full of sh$t”?

Alma
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Alma

I didn’t believe Juicey and the description of the “assault”, it was very detailed and only a little scratch on his face nothing to mark his queer face, he was not beaten and he was not left naked, and the rope on his neck? That was just a show, and by now hardly anything is on tv or the newspaper or the internet on “it”, just another queer that wanted to make the headlines. Too bad it was orchestrated when it should have been real, just for the mere action of being queer and not MAGA.

Chemtrailssuck
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Chemtrailssuck

Just another looney leftie stirring the racial fires. Whoever is behind this Small head guy are ones who are trying to forment these race wars. These people are the enemy. Don’t people get it- if Obama Insane Hussein got “elected” for 2 terms, how can there be so many so called “white racists”? Obama sure did help “get us together”, huh? They’re just trying to get black people to go after white people. So much for “unity”! And these morons who believe the lies about all the “racist whites” out there, they sure would be surprised to see who’s behind… Read more »

Lophatt
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Lophatt

They need to lock this clown up with “Big Bruce”. Let him croon “Moon River” while he searches for his “Depends”. I’ll bet they can teach him to make pig noises and play the banjo.