“There’s been a lot of stuff that’s been said about me that’s absolutely not true,” Smollett mentioned on Saturday, studying from a crumpled piece of paper. “I was bruised, but my ribs were not cracked, they were not broken. I went to the doctor immediately.”
Smollett mentioned he was not hospitalized, and that “Above all, I fought back,” inserting an expletive.
That line obtained the loudest cheers of the evening, however the crowd was enthusiastic even earlier than the efficiency started. The line for entry stretched down the road as followers waited within the rain and activists handed out pamphlets.
“I don’t know why they’re here for this show,” Marlo McKinley, who purchased tickets final month, mentioned of the activists. “But the fact all this is happening, that he’s still performing, is fantastic.”
Tickets for Smollett’s present had been nonetheless out there as of Tuesday afternoon, however they bought out inside 48 hours of the assault being reported. Though a Friday meet-and-greet with followers was canceled for “security reasons,” there was no enhanced safety presence on the present on Saturday except for a pair of officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Several members of the Troubadour’s safety group mentioned the venue had not employed extra safety for the occasion.
Some attendees mentioned they’d purchased tickets in a present of solidarity however left feeling energized by Smollett’s message and music.
“I don’t watch ‘Empire,’ I hadn’t listened to his music, but I really wanted to support him,” one in all them, Chris Katrandjian, mentioned after the present. “The strength he exhibited was not only admirable, it was inspiring.”
Another attendee, Royce Johnson, mentioned he had discovered Smollett’s present uplifting.
“As gay men, there is a proclivity to be victimized in many ways, and it’s part of our active narrative,” he mentioned. “But watching what he did tonight, it left me feeling empowered.”