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Jussie Smollett has launched his directorial debut with BET+ “B-Boy Blues.” The LGBTQ+ centered show will debut on the streaming network June 9, just in time for Pride Month.
This project marks the first for Smollett since he was found guilty of making false reports on what he alleged to be a hate crime. He was then sentenced to 30 months’ probation, 150 days in jail, after making false reports to the police in January 2019 that he was a victim of a hate crime.
“Through our content slate, we are intentional about representing the fullness of the Black experience, including that of the LGBTQ+ community,” BET+ exec VP/GM Devin Griffin said to Variety. “‘B-Boy Blues’ is an artful, heart-rending film about the complexity of love – something we all can relate to.”
Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett arrives at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building to hear the verdict in his trial on December 9, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. Smollett was accused of lying to police when he reported that two masked men physically attacked him, yelling racist and anti-gay remarks near his Chicago home in 2019. Smollett was found guilty of five of the six counts against him.
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
“B-Boy Blues” is based on the James Earl Hardy novel and will star Timothy Richardson, Brandee Evans, Marquise Vilson, Broderick Hunter and Thomas Mackie.
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The indie film first debuted in 2021 at the American Black Film Festival. The film won the Narrative Feature Fan Favorite Award.
Smollett’s first project since released from jail is described as “a clash of class and culture when Mitchell Crawford, a college educated journalist from Brooklyn and Raheim Rivers, a bike messenger from Harlem, fall in love.”
This booking photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office shows Jussie Smollett. A judge sentenced Jussie Smollett to 150 days in jail Thursday, March 10, 2022.
(Cook County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
“B-Boy Blues is a beautifully bold, funny, heartwarming bro-mance and I was thrilled to partner with Jussie to help this wonderful film gain greater exposure,” Mona Scott-Young of Monami Entertainment told the outlet.
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“Falling head over heels and fighting for love are universal emotions and experiences and we are so grateful to BET+ for shining a powerful spotlight on the still seriously underrepresented black LGBTQ+ community and bringing this impactful love story to an even greater audience.”
Three weeks after Smollett was released from jail, he released a song titled “Thank You God.”
The former “Empire” star shared the single on his Instagram account, which according to his bio is “currently run by” the Smollett family.
Actor Jussie Smollett speaks to Judge James Linn after his sentence is read at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Chicago.
(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)
In the caption of the post, it’s noted that “100% of the profits will be donated” to Rainbow Push Coalition, the Illinois Innocence Project and Secure the Bag Safety.
The one-minute preview on social media starts with a clip that reads: “CHANNELING THESE THOUGHTS THE BEST WAY I KNOW HOW. LOVE YOU… – JUSSIE.”
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Smollett then sings: “It’s like they’re hell-bent on not solving the crime / Taking out the elements of race and trans and homophobia that’s straight taking lives / But turn around and act like I’m the one that killed the strides. “
Elsewhere on the track, he says, “Some people searching for fame / Some people chasing that clout / Just remember this … this ain’t that situation / You think I’m stupid enough to kill my reputation.”
“Just simply to look like a victim / Like it’s something fun / Y’all better look at someone else / You got the wrong one.”
Actor Jussie Smollett appears with his attorneys at his sentencing hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Chicago.
(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)
On March 16, Smollett was released from Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois, after a court gave the OK pending an appeal of his conviction.
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He had spent six days behind bars of his 150-day sentence after he was convicted of lying to Chicago police about being the victim of a hate crime in 2019. The actor was convicted on five felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police.
Fox News’ Mariah Haas contributed to this report.