This week, Empire star Jussie Smollett was attacked in Chicago by two men. These men reportedly put a rope around Smollett’s neck, hauled racist and homophobic slurs at him, and doused him in an unknown chemical substance. In the wake of what the FBI is investigating as a possible hate crime, celebrities, fans, and Smollett’s co-workers have come forward to show their support. Now, Smollett’s family has issued their own statement on the assault.
“In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice.”
After thanking fans and friends for sending love and support Smollett’s way, the family made it clear that acts of violence should never be tolerated.
“Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable.”
The statement concluded with:
"Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.”
Smollett went to Northwestern Hospital following the attack and is reportedly in good condition.