Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Fringe Websites Push Conspiracy That Jussie Smollett Was Aided By Kamala Harris

A conspiracy theory that presidential hopeful Senator Kamala Harris aided actor Jussie Smollett’s alleged attempts to fake a hate crime have spread across Twitter and Facebook, Storyful reported, based on an analysis of traffic on the sites.

Smollett was arrested last week on suspicion of filing a false police report that he had been assaulted by two MAGA-hat wearing Trump supporters. On Thursday, February 21, the day the Chicago police held a press conference on Smollett’s case, Storyful found a large number of social media posts mentioning Smollett, Harris and another candidate for president, Senator Corey Booker.

The posts falsely claimed that Smollett, who is Jewish, and Harris are related, or that Smollett had coordinated his fake assault with Harris and Booker so as to boost her anti-lynching bill. Smollett famously reported that the two men placed a noose around his neck.

People who spread the theory pointed to the fact that both Booker and Harris called the assault on Smollett a “modern day lynching” on the day it was first reported.

Storyful found that the theory about collusion between Smollett, Harris and Booker were incubated on 4chan, the fringe forum site; Gab, the micro-blogging service similar to Twitter where hate speech is common; and Reddit. A tweet from Conservative actor James Woods amplified the theory considerably.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.