Naturi Naughton Advises Jussie Smollett to 'Be Gracious' and Skip 2019 NAACP Image Awards
WENN/Derrick Salters

The 'Empire' actor is nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series prize, and unlike the 'Power' star, host Anthony Anderson hopes he attends the awards ceremony.

AceShowbiz - Actress Naturi Naughton has urged Jussie Smollett to stay away from the NAACP Image Awards this weekend and let someone else have his Best Supporting Actor nomination.

The "Power" star and Smollett have both won awards at the ceremony over the past two years and the "Empire" star is back in Los Angeles after his record was wiped clean following an investigation into an alleged police hoax in Chicago, Illinois, but Naturi feels he should give this year's prizegiving a miss.

"I'm a fan and I love him but if anybody else was indicted 16 times for committing a hoax, would you wanna have them at the NAACP?" she asked TMZ cameras during at LAX airport on Thursday, March 28. "That's not what the NAACP stands for."

"I think he, just being gracious and respecting 'this has not been a good week for me' (should say), 'I should just sit this one out and let somebody else have that nomination.' "

She added, "I love Jussie but I also feel: 'Do the crime, do the time'. I can't believe they dropped all the counts, but that's what money and power will do."

It's still unclear if Jussie will attend the NAACP Image Awards on Saturday night, March 30.

Meanwhile, black activists have asked NAACP officials to rescind Smollett's nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

However, ceremony host Anthony Anderson is hoping Jussie shows up.

"I hope to see him here," the "Black-ish" star told Variety. "I hope he wins. I'm happy for him that the system worked for him in his favour because the system isn't always fair, especially for people of colour."

On Thursday, the City of Chicago sent Smollett's legal team a letter demanding $130,000 (£99,400) to defray the cost of cops' probe into his allegedly bogus hate-crime attack.

Prosecutors dropped all charges against Smollett on Tuesday.

"It's not my place or any other person's place to judge him or what not, but I'm glad that he's nominated," Anderson added. "I hope he wins because I'd be interested to hear his speech."

Smollett was scheduled to attend the GLAAD Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday night, but he was a no-show.

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