LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Conservative street artist “Sabo” took a shot at the veracity of Jussie Smollett’s claim that he was attacked in Chicago by posting fake movie posters Monday across L.A. mocking the “Empire” actor.
Sabo purportedly created the parody posters as a spoof of the Oscar-nominated movies “BlacKkKlansman” and “Black Panther.”
One poster depicts Smollett as the “Black Prankster,” and nominates him for “best fictional story.” Another poster, a take on “BlacKkKlansman,” has Smollett in a “Make America Great Again” hat with the words “this is MAGA Country,” the words Smollett claims his alleged attackers yelled at him.
In the early morning hours of Jan. 29, Smollett alleges two men shouted racial and homophobic slurs at him and physically attacked him on a Chicago street, prompting police to open a hate crime investigation.
At the time, Smollett told police that the two suspects yelled homophobic slurs at him before attacking him, pouring a chemical substance on him and then wrapping a rope around his neck.
However, in the ensuing weeks, doubt has been cast on Smollett’s story. Authorities are now investigating whether Smollett may have staged the attack with the help of two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, who had appeared as extras on “Empire.”
Over the past few years, Sabo has been responsible for repeatedly posting fake posters and altering billboards around L.A. in political and social protest. In January, he posted about 20 fake posters around Hollywood with the phrase “The Oscars Have No Hart,” a reference to comedian Kevin Hart’s decision not to host the upcoming ceremony over controversy regarding homophobic comments he made several years ago.
In October, an image of the character Michael Myers on a billboard for the movie “Halloween” was switched out with an image of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) over her ongoing tiff with President Donald Trump.
In November of last year, he changed a West Los Angeles billboard for the film “The Greatest Showman” to include a giant image of former Sen. Al Franken appearing to reach towards a female trapeze artist. The image was in reference to a 2006 photo of Franken groping Los Angeles radio host Leann Tweeden. Franken resigned from the Senate in December amid several claims of sexual misconduct.
In February 2018, just days before the Academy Awards, Sabo posted a political homage to the movie “Three Billboards” by draping three actual billboards in red covering with messages in support of the #MeToo movement.