In the wake of the reported attack on Jussie Smollett that is now being investigated as a hate crime, stars have reached out to express their support to him — and their anger over the crime.
Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on Empire, was reportedly attacked on the street of Chicago around 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning. According to TMZ, two men wearing ski masks recognized Smollett as a star on the Fox show. The men then reportedly called out homophobic and racist slurs and beat Smollett, breaking a rib. The assailants also allegedly put a rope around his neck and poured bleach over Smollett. Refinery29 has reached out to Smollett's representatives for comment.
A statement from the Chicago Police Department revealed that the authorities are investigating the assault as a possible hate crime.
Now, celebrities are reaching out with their support. Stars like John Legend, Empire's Vivica A. Fox, Zendaya, Andy Cohen and more have sent love to Smollett via social media.
Jussie Smollett was violently attacked by two white men who poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck. He was targeted for being black and for being gay. THIS is why we have to have zero tolerance against homophobia and racism. Jussie’s life matters.— Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) January 29, 2019
Lee Daniels, who created Empire, also posted an emotional video in the wake of the attack on Smollett.
"It's taken me a minute to come to social media about this because, Jussie, you are my son," Daniels said. "You didn't deserve — nor anybody deserves — to have a noose put around your neck, to have bleach thrown on you...We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are because it shows that we are united on a united front. And no racist fuck can come in and do the things that they did to you."
"We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our Empire family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night. 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."