Jussie Smollett will make his post-scandal directorial debut on BET+ with the upcoming film B-Boy Blues.
It will be the first project for the 39-year-old actor since being found guilty in December 2021 of charges stemming from a fake hate crime against himself.
Mona Scott-Young, 55, and her Monami Entertainment has joined the film as a producer and was a key figure in the BET+ deal, according to an article on Wednesday by Variety.
Directorial debut: Jussie Smollett, shown in December 2018 in Beverly Hills, California, will make his post-scandal directorial debut on BET+ with the upcoming film B-Boy Blues
Smollett was sentenced in March to 150 days in county jail after being convicted on felony charges over the January 2019 hate crime hoax.
He served only six days in jail before he was released on bond pending the outcome of the appeal of his conviction.
B-Boy Blues is a film adaptation of the James Earl Hardy novel and stars Timothy Richardson, Ledisi, Brandee Evans, Heather B, Marquise Vilson, Jabari Redd, Broderick Hunter and Thomas Mackie.
‘Through our content slate, we are intentional about representing the fullness of the Black experience, including that of the LGBTQ+ community,’ said BET+ executive Devin Griffin. ‘B-Boy Blues’ is an artful, heart-rending film about the complexity of love – something we all can relate to.’
Post scandal: It will be the first project for the 39-year-old actor, shown last November at a screening of B-Boy Blues in New York City, since being found guilty in December of charges stemming from a fake hate crime against himself
Film producer: Mona Scott-Young, shown last week in New York City, and her Monami Entertainment has joined the film as a producer and was a key figure in the BET+ deal, according to an article on Wednesday by Variety
Smollett in addition to directing also wrote the script to B-Boy Blues with novelist Hardy, 66.
B-Boy Blues will debut on June 9 on the BET+ streaming service.
The film debuted last November during the 2021 American Black Film Festival and won the Narrative Feature Fan Favorite Award.
Double duty: Smollett in addition to directing also wrote the script to B-Boy Blues with novelist James Earl Hardy
‘Class and culture clash when a college educated journalist from Brooklyn and a homeboy-bike messenger from Harlem fall in love,’ the film’s official synopsis reads.
Smollett was charged in connection with filing a false police report in 2019 in Chicago after authorities probing the case alleged the actor paid a pair of brothers to attack him, in an attempt to garner publicity and boost his career.
After the case involving the false police report was dropped, a special prosecutor subsequently charged the actor with disorderly conduct in connection with the case and Smollett pleaded not guilty before he was convicted.
Booking photo: The actor is shown in his booking photo in February 2019 in Chicago after being charged with filing a false police report after claiming he was the victim of a hate crime
Scott-Young previously agreed to be involved in B-Boy Blues when it was being developed and remained committed despite Smollett’s scandal, sources told TMZ.
‘B-Boy Blues is a beautifully bold, funny, heartwarming bro-mance and I was thrilled to partner with Jussie to help this wonderful film gain greater exposure,’ Scott-Young said in a statement.
‘Falling head over heels and fighting for love are universal emotions and experiences and we are so grateful to BET+ for shining a powerful spotlight on the still seriously underrepresented black LGBTQ+ community and bringing this impactful love story to an even greater audience,’ she added.
Scott-Young is best known for producing the popular VHI reality television franchise Love & Hip Hop.
Smollett starred on the hit Fox show Empire for five seasons, but did not return for its sixth and final season after being charged with filing a false police report.
Hit show: Smollett, shown with Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard in a season five still from Empire, starred on the hit Fox show for five seasons, but did not return for its sixth and final season after being charged with filing a false police report