After Jussie Smollett, star of the Fox musical drama Empire, was attacked in Chicago early Tuesday morning (Jan. 29) in a possible hate crime, his famous friends and admirers took to social media to lend support.
Smollett’s two assailants, who were allegedly wearing ski masks, approached the openly gay actor while yelling racial and homophobic slurs including “Aren’t you that faggot Empire n—-r?” The pair of unidentified white men then proceeded to wrap a noose around Smollett’s neck while pouring an “unknown chemical substance” on him. According to a report by TMZ, Smollett sustained a fractured rib in the altercation as he fought back and the two unidentified men yelled “This is MAGA country!” before fleeing the scene.
In the wake of the attack, celebrities and fans alike have turned to social media to express their outrage, sadness and support for Smollett. Janet Jackson, Viola Davis, Matt Bomer and Andy Cohen, plus Empire co-creator Lee Daniels and Empire co-stars Serayah and AzMarie Livingston, all shared their love for Smollett and shock at the news. Shonda Rhimes, Dan Levy, Ella Mai and LGBTQ+ activist Raymond Braun also shared their support for the actor.
Take a look at some of the reactions below:
sending u my love —— pic.twitter.com/9dHEphO8BQ
— Janet Jackson (@JanetJackson) January 29, 2019
OMG!! THIS is why the LGBTQ community continue to fight to be seen and PROTECTED against hate!
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 29, 2019
Sending my love and prayers to you @JussieSmollett . This is unacceptable and they will be brought to justice.
— Matt Bomer (@MattBomer) January 29, 2019
DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) 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
— lee daniels (@leedanielsent) January 29, 2019
I am so sorry to hear what happened to @JussieSmollett. It’s unacceptable. I hope he knows how many people are thinking of him and committed to holding this administration and its ilk accountable for this hothouse of hate being fostered.
— roxane gay (@rgay) January 29, 2019
Horrifying, heartbreaking, and deeply disturbing. Combat this hate by donating to a Black/LGBTQ organization today. https://t.co/V0fKEzBuhH
— dan levy (@danjlevy) January 29, 2019
I’m just now hearing the news about the senseless hate attack on my #EMPiRE Nephew @JussieSmollett IM SO ANGRY AND HURT ABOUT THIS! THIS MUST STOP!! SPREAD LOVE NOT HATE! PRAYERS UP TO U NEPHEW! ——–??—-?? pic.twitter.com/p4GqfNW3An
— Vivica A. Fox (@MsVivicaFox) 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
we love you @JussieSmollett ??
— Ella Mai (@ellamai) January 29, 2019
Heartbroken & disturbed that one of the most visible leaders and champions for the LGBTQ community was attacked today. We are with you, Jussie Smollett.
— Raymond Braun (@raymondbraun) January 29, 2019
I am praying for my friend my brother my family @jussiesmollett . Im at a loss for words as to why any person would want to commit such a hate crime on him but then I realize his beautiful mind, passion for whats right, courage, strength, & activism can put fear in many when they see his power to move people! It hurts me deeply, tears fill my eyes bc I can be that person involved in a hate crime. In my teenage years I was that person. It happens to too many in our community and you won’t hear about every one of them. To my people my lgbt family –?– do not allow hate to fill your hearts at this time but also don’t hide in a shell bc of fear for being yourself. Jussie i love you & wish you a speedy recovery & receive so much love to heal any other pain. —-?? —————— Fuk’d Up World – Jussie Smollet #staystrong #lgbt #love #healing #justice #blacklivesmatter #Change #yeswecan #lovewins #jussiesmollett #freedom #glaad
I feel like I shouldn’t have to send out reminders that homophobia & racism are cowardly acts. But yet here we are in Maga Hell. I’m at a loss for words at all of this. Stunned that I’m still surprised this can still happen and keeps happening (and has never stopped happening). I’m trying hard to not make this “thoughts and prayers” meaningless like most posts about things of this nature. I wrote 10 paragraphs and erased em all & turned off the comments. Really angry about this fuckery.
Prayers up for @JussieSmollett —-
Ignorance and hatred will never be victorious. Love will overcome all.
— OMAR EPPS (@omarepps) January 29, 2019
When the attackers used words like “f**got” and “n**ger,” stop calling it a “possible” hate crime. It’s a HATE CRIME. Period. This is atrocious. Standing with you @JussieSmollett #JusticeForJussie https://t.co/hjGIPrgbr4
— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) January 29, 2019
1/3 – I’ve known Jussie since he was 10 years old, and a man of @JussieSmollett’s talent, intellect and kindness should be an undisputed blessing to our community. My heart is hurting knowing that he’s suffering…and for what? Just for being?
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) January 29, 2019
No matter what’s happening around us, @JussieSmollett is ALWAYS quick w/ a massive smile & hug. Thats the kind of man he is. The homophobic, racist hate crime against him & hate crimes against countless others cannot stand. Rebuke hatred any & every time it rears its ugly head.
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) January 29, 2019
@JussieSmollett my prayers are with you and your family.
— Quvenzhane’ Wallis (@IAMQUVENZHANE) January 29, 2019
As a fellow #StonewallAmbassador, my heart goes out to @JussieSmollett. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which launched the LGBTQ civil rights movement. This horrific incident underscores the struggle we still face. Thank you Jussie for your courage. https://t.co/RFnbu2dd2P
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 29, 2019
all of it is you @jussiesmollett. the red hat is the white hood. no ifs ands or buts. if you wear it, you attacked jussie. if you support them, you attack all of us. watch us rally. our… https://t.co/mncBpkFixL
— Nico Tortorella (@NicoTortorella) January 29, 2019
The horrific attack on Jussie Smollett has no place in a decent human loving society. Homophobia existed before Trump, but there is no question that since he has injected his hatred into the American bloodstream, we are less decent,less human,& less loving. No intolerance! No DT!
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) January 30, 2019
The racist, homophobic attack on @JussieSmollett is an affront to our humanity. No one should be attacked for who they are or whom they love. I pray that Jussie has a speedy recovery & that justice is served. May we all commit to ending this hate once & for all.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 30, 2019
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
Words fail, but know this, @JussieSmollett is our son, our brother and the word LOVE seems insufficient. We stand with you and pray for your speedy recovery. This will not go unanswered. When you attack one of us, you will answer to ALL OF US. Know that.
— Wilson Cruz (@wcruz73) January 29, 2019
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) January 29, 2019
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) January 29, 2019
The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I’m glad he’s safe.
To those in Congress who don’t feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention. https://t.co/EwXFxl5f2m
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 29, 2019
Jussie Smollett,’Empire’ Actor, Reportedly Attacked In Possible Hate Crime.NPR. VILLAINY, RACISM,HOMOPHOBIA, PROMOTED BY MOST INFAMOUS –IN –,IS THE POISON THAT KILLS—-.WHITE ONLY IS NOT RIGHT.—- IS PPL OF COLOR.—-GOP GOES DOWN WITH SHIP djt
— Cher (@cher) January 30, 2019
This kind of violence should be unacceptable. We cannot continue to allow racism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-semitism, or any other form of hate continue to drive violence in our country. https://t.co/ipstMGLHEI
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 30, 2019
We track hate. In 2017 alone we counted 51 anti-LGBT groups in the US.
The violent attack on Jussie Smollett, albeit despicable, is not unique. POC & the LGBTQ community are most commonly targeted – especially those at the intersection of both identities. https://t.co/IMGP7RnbVJ
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) January 30, 2019
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
I am disgusted and horrified to hear of the homophobic and racial attack on Jussie Smollett last night. Unfortunately, these hateful attacks happen way too often. We must call out and hold those accountable. Sending love to you, Jussie.
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) January 29, 2019
Hard to focus on anything but anger. So much love for Jussie. —
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) January 29, 2019
god bless jussie may he have all the support he needs healing from this.
hella speechless. no words.
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) January 29, 2019