“Empire” Cast Reacts & Rallies Around Jussie Smollett Following Hate Attack
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As Jussie Smollett recovers from his injuries following his fight against the two alleged racist and homophobic attackers, the Empire family and surrounding members of the Hollywood community are letting the world know they have got his back.
Empire leads Terrence Howard appeared on Good Morning America on Twitter last Wednesday morning (January 30) to condemn the attack and pledge even more support to his 36-year-old co-star.
“I heard he’s getting better. You know, he’s angry,” Howard said, updating the press on Smollett’s condition and state of mind.
“But I know Jussie. Jussie’s anger will dissipate and he will forgive these people for what they did. But he won’t and we cannot forget their actions. They have to be forgiven because it was done out of ignorance. Jussie’s the one that starts singing when everybody’s in a bad mood,” Howard continued.
“He’s the one that cheers everybody up. He’s the one that does all the Instagrams if he catches you sleeping. Today, no one was caught sleeping. No one even took time to close their eyes and nap. They were all in shock that our family — you know, the Fox family, the Empire family, the Lyon family — were attacked by a bunch of hyenas today.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 30, 2019
Elsewhere, a distraught Lee Daniels publicly stated he had to compose himself before taking to social media and promised to be right by Smollett’s side A-S-A-P.
“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 faggot’ … ‘nigger’ or whatever they said to you,” the director exclaimed. “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 are united on a united front.”
The Chicago police are investigating what they’re calling “possible racially charged assault and battery” and are currently coming up empty in their search for surveillance video in the surrounding area.
TMZ is also reporting tragic irony that Smollett declined to travel with additional security just days before the attack.
Smollett is likely to return to taping Empire soon with minor adjustments built to accommodate his transition. As of press time, his February 2 concert in Los Angeles is still on the books.
Outside the extended Empire, a host of movie stars, musicians and even politicians also spoke against hate.
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
Four years ago, @JussieSmollett came out on my show. I’m sending him and his family so much love today. ❤️
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 29, 2019