“It’s taken me a minute to come to social media about this because, Jussie, you are my son,” he said in a video posted on Tuesday. “You didn’t deserve nor anybody deserves to have a noose put around your neck, to have bleach thrown on you, to be called ‘die f–got n–ga’ or whatever they said to you. You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that. It starts at home. It starts at home, yo. We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are because it shows we are united on a united front and no racist f— can come in and do the things that they did to you. Hold your head up, Jussie. I’m with you. I’ll be there in a minute. It’s just another f—ing day in America.”
Smollett is in “good condition” after two men beat him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, according to a statement released by the Chicago Police Department. The men reportedly poured an unknown chemical substance on him and tied a rope around his neck. Smollett was in Chicago preparing to perform at a concert on Saturday.
On “Empire,” Smollett plays a gay character named Jamal Lyon, and the actor came out publicly in 2015.
Following the incident, GLAAD released a statement saying, “GLAAD reached out to Fox and Jussie’s team today to offer assistance as well as support for him. Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world.”
Fox, the network that houses “Empire,” also released a statement, said it’s “deeply saddened and outraged” by the attack. “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 statement read. “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.”
“Empire” co-creator Danny Strong and producer Eric Haywood have voiced their condemnation of the attack on Smollett on Twitter.
I’m deeply horrified and saddened by the racist and homophobic attacks against @JussieSmollett. He is a kind and profoundly talented soul whom I respect with all my heart. The terror of racism and homophobia has no place in our society, it is the most indecent way to live…
— Danny Strong (@Dannystrong) January 29, 2019
I will burn your fucking house down to protect @JussieSmollett.
Write that shit down.
— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) January 29, 2019
— Empire (@EmpireFOX) January 29, 2019
Empire writers were heartbroken this morning to hear of the vicious attack on our beloved star @JussieSmollett. The story that Jussie tells through Jamal is one of tolerance, acceptance and love, and we are disgusted that our divided world subjected such a kind soul to violence.
— Empire Writers (@EmpireWriters) January 29, 2019
Several actors, like John Legend and Lena Waithe, also sent their support to Smollett and condemned the attackers. Film and TV producer Brian Grazer said in a statement, “I am disgusted and saddened by the attack on Jussie, one of the nicest and most genuine people I have worked with. I send him much love on his recovery. Hate and bigotry have no place in our society.”
Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 29, 2019
DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 29, 2019
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) January 29, 2019
THIS IS FUCKED UP TO THE CORE. CATCH THESE EVIL HOMOPHOBES AND LOCK THEM UP FOREVER https://t.co/RScjV4hlex
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) January 29, 2019
— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) January 29, 2019
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) January 29, 2019
Filmmaker Barry Jenkins, Reverend Al Sharpton, and other celebrities denounced the racist and homophobic attackers.
Thinking of Jussie. Saddened. Heartbroken. Angry. ALL of it. Wouldn’t matter that he is the kindest soul. But he IS the kindest soul. And this is FUCKED. This is what all that hateful mongering has wrought. Are you PROUD???
— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) January 29, 2019
The reported hate attack on my friend and brother, actor Jussie Smollett is despicable and outrageous. The guilty must face the maximum.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) January 29, 2019
This is horrific. What kind of country do we live in. https://t.co/unvzWmo6XD
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 29, 2019
— Michael B. Jordan (@michaelb4jordan) January 29, 2019
We ALL have a responsibility to rise up against the ignorance and hate out there. If you know who did this to @JussieSmollett, REPORT THEM TO THE POLICE.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 29, 2019
— Neil Meron (@neilmeron) January 29, 2019
President of the Human Rights Campaign Chad Griffin, U.S. senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris, and student activist Cameron Kasky voiced their support.
I am sick to my stomach over the news of a violent attack on @JussieSmollett. I'm so glad you are safe, my friend. All of us at @HRC wish you a quick recovery. Law enforcement MUST act quickly & thoroughly given the horrific racist/homophobic details described in news reports.
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) January 29, 2019
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
This. Is. Not. Okay. (Violent content warning)@JussieSmollett was attacked by two masked men who put his neck in a noose, yelled racial & homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him, and yelled “This is #MAGA country!” https://t.co/FQ7NKH6MfO
— Logo 🏳️🌈 (@LogoTV) January 29, 2019
At a loss for words. https://t.co/07mtwLAybL
— Cam (@cameron_kasky) January 29, 2019