Saturday Night Live lit into Jussie Smollett following his arrest for allegedly staging an attack against himslef, an attack that he alleged was motivated by racism and homophobia, according to . The star of Empire was charged with filing a false police report in the bizarre case, which originally brought Smollett sympathy for its purported roots in racism and homophobia. But his story ultimately fell apart under scrutiny, partially because after combing through dozens of hours of CCTV footage from the area where Smollett alleged the attack took place, police could find no evidence of any such attack.
SNL regular Chris Redd took on the role of Smollett in the sketch, which was designed as a parody of Shark Tank, called Shark Tank: Legal Edition. The four “sharks” arrayed before Redd’s Smollett as he entered the room included Kate McKinnon’s unhinged Rudy Giuliani, and show host John Mulany as Alan Dershowitz.
“You won’t believe this, but I was just attacked outside the studio by Donald Trump himself,” Redd says as Smollett.
When the panelists question him on the veracity of the claim, “Smollett” asks if there are cameras outside, and he immediately retracts his story. The panelists then go on to ask him why is there.
“Because I broke humanity?” he replies. “But if you take my case I’m offering spoilers for the next season of Empire. I die.”
In character as Dershowitz, Mulraney tells Redd’s Smollett that he is all that he could hope for in a client.
“Jussie, you have everything I love in a client,” Mulraney says as Dershowitz. “You are famous and probably guilty. End of list.”
Another of the show’s “sharks,” Fox News‘ Jeanine Pirro as played by Cecily Strong can barely contain her excitement over Smollett’s downfall.
“Oh wow!” she exclaims. “A gay black man lied about an attack! I’ve written Fox News fan-fiction about this. But I never thought it would come true!”
Even after the sketch was over, the show wasn’t finished dragging Smollett. During the “Weekend Update” news segment, Colin Jost did a piece on a man who had been arrested for faking his own abduction in order to get out of paying a $50,000 Superbowl bet.
“Worse, he lost his job on Empire,” Jost said.
Chicago police have alleged that Smollett’s fake attack was created in the first place because the actor was unhappy with his Empire salary.