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Chris Rock rips Jussie Smollett at the NAACP Image Awards: "What the hell was he thinking?"

Jussie Smollet skips NAACP awards
Jussie Smollet skips NAACP awards despite nomination 01:56

Actor-comedian Chris Rock took verbal jabs at actor Jussie Smollett before he presented the award for outstanding comedy series to ABC's "black-ish" at the 50th annual NAACP Image Awards Saturday night. Smollett, who had all criminal charges against him dropped last week for allegedly staging a hate crime, did not attend the awards.

"They said no Jussie Smollett jokes," Rock said. "Yeah, I know, but what a waste of light skin. Do you know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair, my career would be out of here. I would be running Hollywood. What the hell was he thinking? You are known as 'Jessie' for now on. You don't even get the 'u' anymore. That 'u' was for respect. You ain't getting no respect from me."

50th NAACP Image Awards - Show
Chris Rock onstage at the 50th NAACP Image Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 30, 2019, in Hollywood, Calif. Getty

In response to Rock's jokes, "black-ish" star Yara Shahidi made her stance in the Smollett controversy obvious.

"I stand with Jussie," Shahidi said before she handed the microphone to Marcus Scribner and ducked into her crowd of castmates including Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Jussie Smollett lost to "Grey's Anatomy" star Jessie Williams in the supporting actor in a drama series category.

A lawyer for the city of Chicago said Thursday the city is seeking $130,00 from Smollett as restitution for the cost of the investigation he initiated. Smollett has maintained his innocence and told reporters Tuesday after his charges had been dropped that he's been "truthful and consistent on every single level since day one."

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