According to a 2018 USA article, Empire’s white viewership was 25 percent. At the height of its popularity, its nonblack viewership was 40 percent.

I’ve never watched an episode of Game of Thrones, yet I know who the main actors in it are. Cosby and Sanford and Son were on air back when there were far fewer options than there are now. Even the most popular shows today, regardless of the race of their casts, don’t pull in the numbers that hits were pulling in throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and even the ‘90s.

True crime doesn’t always fit neat, predictable patterns, nor does the behavior of crime victims. (As the survivor of a violent crime myself, I can vouch for that.) I am certain that had “MAGA” not been an element in the story (and especially, if it had been a generic assault and not an alleged hate crime), there wouldn’t have been so many doubters from the start.

At any rate, just as many (including myself) were perhaps too quick to buy Smollett’s version of events, we shouldn’t be too quick to buy the brothers’ version of events either. I’m waiting until the truth is confirmed before making any further pronouncements.

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa”

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