Jussie Smollett was a no-show at the 2019 NAACP Image Awards dinner on Friday, where he lost in his nominated category, days after his felony charges for allegedly falsely reporting a hate crime attack were dismissed.
The 36-year-old Empire actor had made headlines in January when he told Chicago police that two men attacked him on a street in the city, during which they allegedly put a noose around his neck, poured bleach over him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. The following month, he was charged with staging the incident himself and filing a false police report. He pleaded not guilty.
On Friday, several honors were announced at the 2019 NAACP Image Awards dinner in Los Angeles. Smollett, who flew to the city earlier this week, was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on Empire and lost to Jesse Williams from Grey's Anatomy, ABC News reported. More awards will be presented at a televised NAACP Image Awards ceremony on Saturday.
Anthony Anderson, who returns as host for the sixth consecutive year, had told Variety he hoped Smollett would attend the event and also win the award.
"I'm happy for him that the system worked for him in his favor because the system isn't always fair, especially for people of color," he added. "So I'm glad it worked out for him. It's not my place or any other person's place to judge him or what not, but I'm glad the he's nominated…I hope he wins because I'd be interested to hear his speech."