Scrambling to spare herself the natural consequences of her over-eagerness to get an exclusive 'scoop' on the hottest story of the year, infamous Jussie Smollett interviewer Robin Roberts is now is back-pedaling about the whole thing.
In an attempt to excuse her decision to go ahead with the disastrous dialogue, Roberts said “All I wanted was to get to the truth. “All I wanted was to give the truth.”
Roberts said that when the GMA booking department first contacted her about a possible Smollett interview, she had reservations. “I’ll be completely honest, I said, I don’t know if I’m going to do the interview or not.
“Let’s just wait and see. Let’s see if more information comes in.”
And boy, did it EVER come in!! But not in time to save her from the now-embarrassing sit-down with the accused felon. Roberts says that although the show aired on the same day as the bombshell revelations of brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo's part in the whole affair.
Before the interview, speculation was running rampant that Smollett's version of the story wasn’t completely true. But, unfortunately for Roberts, the damning evidence of the Nigerian men's coming forward didn’t break until hours after the interview aired.
Roberts went on to explain that she only agreed to interview the 36-year-old 'Empire' actor if he would be willing to provide details not previously reported in the press so that it would be deemed “news-worthy.” What she got, instead, was a guilty man getting a platform in which to spin the story away from himself.
Roberts also was concerned that the fact that she is a gay, black woman interviewing a gay, black man might be a perfect format for bringing concerns to the surface. On the other hand, she was aware that it could all backfire.
“He’s saying that it was a hate crime. So if I’m too hard on him, then people in my LBGTQ community are going, ‘Oh, you don’t believe him.’ If I’m too light on him, then it’s like, ‘Oh, because you are in the community, you’re giving him a pass.’
“So it was a no-win situation for me.”
In a follow-up after Smollett’s arrest, Roberts tried to even the score by interviewing Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to gain further information on the ongoing investigation.
Smollett is due back in court on March 22nd
Looking back, Roberts cites the harsh criticism she received for being ‘too soft’ on Smollett, again trying to sound as though she was caught in something she had no control over.
“It was hurtful some of the things that were said. I’ll be honest. Because I pride myself on being fair. I know how much work went into being balanced about what to ask, to challenge him on certain things.”
What are your thoughts? Do you think Roberts is merely the unwary victim of bad timing and deserves a 'pass'? Or should she face the full consequences of her actions? Share your opinion in our 'comments' section.