Chris Rock rips an absent Jussie Smollett at the NAACP Image Awards

Comedian Chris Rock ripped into Jussie Smollett with a series of jokes Saturday at the NAACP Image Awards, where the actor was nominated for his role on the Fox series "Empire."

"They said no Jussie Smollett jokes," Rock said. "I know. What a waste of light skin, you know? You know what I could do with that light skin? That curly hair? My career would be outta here, (expletive) running Hollywood.

"What the hell was he thinking? From now on I ain't never gonna (say) no Jussie -- you're a Jessie from now on. You don't get the 'u' no more. That 'u' was respect. You don't get no respect from me."

WATCH: Emanuel speaks on what he believes Smollett owes Chicago
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city is calculating how much it cost to investigate Jussie Smollett's case and will be sending the actor the bill.



Smollett, who had been accused by police of staging a fake hate-crime attack on himself, did not attend the awards show. He was nominated for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for "Empire" -- a role that may be in jeopardy. Smollett has maintained his innocence and said he has been "truthful and consistent" since the saga began.

Rock's jokes left "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah in stitches, but not everyone was so amused. Yara Shahidi, an actress on "Black-ish," accepted an award for the show and told the audience, "I stand with Jussie."

RELATED: I-TEAM: What's inside CPD's Jussie Smollett investigative file?

"Saturday Night Live" also took aim at the actor in a segment Saturday in which TV network executives fire Smollett after he twice tells outlandish stories of being attacked.

Smollett lost the NAACP Image Award to "Grey's Anatomy" star Jesse Williams. The "Empire" producers removed Smollett's character from the final two episodes of the current season after his arrest last month.

WATCH: Kim Foxx defends office's decision in Jussie Smollett case
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Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx defended her office's decision to drop charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.



Prosecutors dropped 16 felony disorderly conduct charges against Smollett last week after the actor forfeited his bail money and did community service. The decision to drop charges has led to harsh criticism from the Chicago mayor, police and outside district attorneys.

Smollett, who is black and gay, told police that two men attacked him in Chicago on January 29 and yelled racist and homophobic slurs while striking him. Smollett said the assailants placed a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him, according to police.

Chicago police initially investigated the case as a possible hate crime, but they later said they believed the attack was staged by Smollett to bolster his profile and career.

"It's Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax, period," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx defended her office's decision to drop charges, saying that a guilty verdict likely would not have led to prison time or other harsher consequences for the actor.

Still, Chicago Police went so far as to send Smollett a $130,000 bill representing what they said was the cost of the investigation into his claims.

Smollett attorney: 'He was a victim of a crime'
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Jussie Smollett's attorney Tina Glandian speaks on GMA after charges against the 'Empire' actor were dropped.



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Emanuel on Smollett: 'This is making fools of all of us'
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was furious with the decision to drop charges against Jussie Smollett. He appeared on Good Morning America and had some harsh words for the "Empire" actor.



Previous coverage:
Jussie Smollett update: What's inside the CPD investigative file?
Jussie Smollett update: FBI reviewing circumstances of Jussie Smollett's charges being dropped, sources confirm
Jussie Smollett update: Charges against 'Empire' actor dropped; 'not an exoneration,' prosecutor says
RELATED: Mayor Emanuel calls decision to drop charges against Smollett 'whitewash of justice'
RELATED: Charges dropped against 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett
RELATED: Osundairo brother at center of Jussie Smollett case compete in Chicago boxing match
RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: 'Pain and anger' around 'Empire' in recent weeks, Lee Daniels says
RELATED: FOP accuses Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx of interfering in Jussie Smollett investigation
RELATED: Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct charges
RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: Texts shed light on why State's Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself
RELATED: Jussie Smollett appears in court for hearing; Cameras allowed for Thursday hearing
RELATED: Jussie Smollett update: Brothers 'taken advantage of' by Smollett, attorney says
RELATED: Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury

RELATED: Brothers reportedly involved in Jussie Smollett alleged hoax release statement expressing 'regret'
RELATED: Jussie Smollett's check to brothers obtained by ABC News
RELATED: Jussie Smollett's character to be removed from 'Empire', producers say
RELATED: What's next for Jussie Smollett? Possible big police bill
RELATED: Jussie Smollett alleged hoax may cast doubt on real hate crimes, advocates fear
RELATED: Jussie Smollett out on bond after being accused of staging attack
RELATED: Jussie Smollett charged with disorderly conduct for filing false police report, prosecutors say
RELATED: Cook Co. State's Attorney Kim Foxx recuses herself from Jussie Smollett investigation
RELATED: Brothers told police Smollett was upset threatening letter didn't get enough attention, staged attack
RELATED: Activist calls for Smollett's arrest, believes actor lied about attack
RELATED: Brothers tell police that Jussie Smollett paid them to stage attack, official says
RELATED: Sources: Police investigating whether Smollett staged attack with help of others
RELATED: Timeline of key moments in alleged attack on Jussie Smollett
RELATED: Jussie Smollett breaks silence on Chicago attack
RELATED: 'Empire' actor's family releases statement on attack, pictures of possible persons of interest released
RELATED: Photos show potential persons of interest in 'Empire' actor attack, police say
RELATED: 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett attacked in Chicago in possible hate crime, police say