Celebrities Offer Messages Of Support To Jussie Smollett After Hateful Crime
Celebrities are standing in solidarity with Empire star Jussie Smollett after he suffered a possible hate crime in Chicago.
On Tuesday morning, news broke the actor was attacked by two men after he left a restaurant. According to Chicago police, the attackers shouted racist and homophobic slurs at Smollett before they assaulted the star and poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him. TMZ reported that while Smollett attempted to fight back, the men wrapped a noose around his neck, fractured his rib, and shouted, “This is MAGA country!”
Smollett’s Empire character, Jamal Lyon, is gay, and after Jamal came out on the show, Smollett appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show to address his own sexuality. “There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in,” he said at the time.
“We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our ‘Empire’ family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night,” 20th Century Fox Television, Empire’s network, said in a statement. “We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”
Not long after, Smollett received an overwhelming amount of support from fellow celebrities, industry professionals, and fans.
“It’s taken me a minute to come to social media about this because Jussie, you are my son,” Lee Daniels, co-creator of Empire, said in an Instagram video. “You didn’t deserve, nor anybody deserves, to have a noose put around your neck; to have bleach thrown on you, to be called whatever they said to you. You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that. It starts at home. We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are because it shows we united, on a united front.”
Celebrities including John Legend, Ariana Grande, Zendaya, Lena Waithe, and Kerry Washington also expressed their disbelief about what happened and showered the actor with love.
Our thoughts are with Smollett at this time.
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