On March 26, all criminal charges against the Empire star were dropped by the Illinois state attorney’s office. Smollett had faced 16 felony counts alleging he lied to police about a racial and homophobic attack against him in January.
“Man, Bill Barr has been busy,” Colbert joked before adding, “For those who have not been following the story, let me catch you up — I dunno. This thing makes no sense.”
“Here’s the deal. What we know so far, first, Smollett told police he had been a victim of a hate crime in which two white men had attacked him and shouted racist and homophobic slurs. But it turned out his actual assailants were two Nigerian brothers who say Smollett hired them to carry out the attack paying them by cheque,” Colbert said while rolling his eyes.
“So embarrassing especially since he used one of those designer cheques with a picture of Mickey paying Goofy to hit him with a 2 x 4,” Colbert said.
He went on to say that even after the cheque scenario, there were conflicting witness statements and video evidence.
“No one is exactly sure what happened or why it happened. He said it was a hate crime and I believe it. Because I hate talking about this story,” Colbert quipped.
He mentioned that Smollett still maintains that he was a victim but Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has other thoughts on the situation.
Colbert played the clip of Johnson from the press conference held on Tuesday. “Do I think justice was served? No… I think this city is still owed an apology,” Johnson said.
WATCH BELOW: Chicago PD superintendent: City, police both ‘owed an apology’ on Smollett case
“Really? That’s all you want?” Colbert asked. “I didn’t realize the Chicago police were so forgiving.”
He continued: “Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also not happy.”
“This is without a doubt a whitewash of justice and sends a clear message that if you’re in a position of influence and power, you’ll get treated one way, other people will be treated another way. There is no accountability in the system. It is wrong. Full stop,” Emanuel said to press on Tuesday.
WATCH BELOW: Prosecutor who dropped charges against Jussie Smollett says he personally believes he’s guilty
“Yes it is wrong but on the other hand,” Colbert said, “isn’t it a hopeful sign for America that regardless of your race or sexual orientation, all rich, famous people get off easily? I believe, it was Martin Luther King who said, ‘I have a dream that one day, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will hire the very best publicists to leverage their social media profile, escape charges and make a big comeback on The Masked Singer.“
Watch the clip in the video above.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 ET/PT on Global.