Saturday Night Live did not go easy on Empire co-star Jussie Smollett, who was recently charged with filing a false police report for allegedly staging the assault on him, originally perceived to be possible hate crime.
In a Shark Tank parody skit, Shark Tank: Legal Edition, Smollett, played by SNL‘s Chris Redd, was one of two contestants to appear in front of four “sharks”, in this case lawyers who have themselves been embroiled in controversies — Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti (Pete Davidson), Jeanine Pirro (Cecily Strong), Alan Dershowitz (host John Mulaney), and Kate McKinnon reprising her popular impression of Rudy Giuliani.
“You won’t believe this, but I was just attacked outside the studio by Donald Trump himself,” Redd’s Smollett told the Sharks. When Dershowitz asked him if that was true and Smollett was told that there are cameras outside, he retracted his statement.
According to Chicago police, Smollett intended for his attack to be captured on a security camera, but it was pointing in the wrong direction at the time.
When Redd’s Smollett was asked why he was here, he said, “‘Cause I broke humanity,” later offering spoilers on the next season of Empire in exchange for someone taking his case.
Dershowitz was blunt. “Jussie, you have everything I love in a client. You are famous and probably guilty. End of list.”
The other contestant on Shark Tank: Legal Edition was embattled New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft who was recently charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution. He was played by Beck Bennett. (watch the skit above)
Saturday Night Live then took another jab at Smollett at the end of Weekend Update. The last news item in the fake newscast was about a man who had been arrested for faking his own abduction and robbery to avoid paying $50,000 he owed in a Super Bowl pool. “Worse, the man just lost his job on Empire,” Weekend Update Colin Jost said.
Here is the Weekend Update segment with the Jussie Smollet joke at the 1:20 min mark.