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Chris Rock slams Jussie Smollett at NAACP awards: 'What the hell was he thinking?'

Jussie Smollett might have been a no-show at Saturday night's NAACP Image Awards in Hollywood but that didn't stop comedian Chris Rock from blasting the "Empire" star.

"They said 'No Jussie Smollett jokes' ... What a waste of light skin. Do you know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here! I'd be running Hollywood," said Rock, who was on hand to present the award for Outstanding Comedy Series.

"They said 'No Jussie Smollett jokes' ... What a waste of light skin. Do you know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be out of here! I'd be running Hollywood!"

— Chris Rock

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He continued: "What the hell was he thinking? You're 'Jessie' from now on. You don't get the 'u' no more. That 'u' was respect. You ain't getting no respect from me!"

"What the hell was he thinking? You're 'Jessie' from now on. You don't get the 'u' no more. That 'u' was respect. You ain't getting no respect from me!"

— Chris Rock

Smollett was nominated -- but lost -- for best supporting actor in a television drama for his role as Jamal Lyon on the Fox series. He was edged out by "Grey's Anatomy" star Jesse Williams.

Smollett has been nominated for the award four years in a row and won in 2017.

The award was handed out during the untelevised portion of the show Friday night.

Leading up to the event, NAACP Image Awards host and "Black-ish" actor Anthony Anderson said in light of the charges against Smollett being dropped, he hopes the "Empire" actor will win for his work on the show.

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Smollett has been in the middle of a firestorm for weeks in Chicago.

He is accused of staging an anti-gay, racist attack on himself in January in order to promote his career.

He has denied the charges from the start and says two men approached him, beat him, threw bleach on him and tied a rope around his neck before shouting, "This is MAGA country," in reference to President Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again."

On Tuesday, the Cook County State Attorney's Office dropped all charges against Smollett, who was previously facing 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report that he was the victim of a hate crime.

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After the surprise announcement, Smollett said, "I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’m accused of."

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