Robin Roberts Admits She Was Conflicted About Interviewing Jussie Smollett: “It Was A No Win Situation For Me”
Noted journalist/”Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts is finally breaking her silence on the controversial Jussie Smollett case. In a new interview, Robin went into detail about the difficulties of Jussie’s first and only interview about the alleged attack hoax. She revealed that she initially didn’t want to do the interview. Robin Roberts said:
“I’ll be completely honest, I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to do the interview or not.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to sit down with him if he’s going to lawyer up.’ And then I was told, ‘He wants to speak with you,’ [because] he was outraged by people making assumptions about whether it had happened or not.”
Because of her skepticism, she was told by her higher ups that she was welcome to crack down on Jussie, and ask him uncomfortable questions. Robin added:
“They said, ‘He wants to say things that he has not said,’ and I’m like, ‘As a journalist, as a newsperson, this is newsworthy, he’s going to go on record for the first time, yes I’ll do the interview.'”
Robin Roberts also says she felt pressured into doing the interview to represent the LGBT community.
“I’m a black gay woman, he’s a black gay man. He’s saying that there’s a hate crime, so if I’m too hard, then my LGBT community is going to say, ‘You don’t believe a brother.’ If I’m too light on him, it’s like, ‘Oh, because you are in the community, you’re giving him a pass.’ It was a no-win situation for me.”
Two days after the interview aired, news broke that the Nigerian brtohers – Ola and Able Osundairo – may have been paid by Jussie Smollett to attack him. Robin says that the timing made people question her judgement and skills as a journalist. She said:
“People are looking at the interview through the eyes of ‘How did you not know?’ I did the interview 48 hours before then. Had I had that information or [knew] what the brothers were alleging, heck yeah, I would have asked him about that. I pride myself in being fair, I know how much work went into being balanced about what had happened and to challenge him on certain things.”
Robin Roberts’ final thoughts on her Jussie Smollett interview were not necessarily positive. She said:
“It was one of the most challenging interviews I’ve ever had to do.”
Jussie Smollett bonded out of a Chicago jail, and his next expected court date is March 14th.
Watch Jussie Smollett’s full “ABC News/Good Morning America” interview with Robin Roberts below.
Written by Miata Shanay