Within hours of Jussie Smollett’s hospitalization following an alleged racist and homophobic attack on Tuesday, several fellow stars began voicing support for the Empire actor on social media. John Legend, Zendaya, and Kehlani, as well as Empire executives and co-stars like Danny Strong and Vivica A. Fox, have taken to Twitter to speak out on behalf of Smollett and wish him well, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Strong, an executive producer, co-creator, and writer for Empire, wrote that he is “deeply horrified and saddened” by what has happened to Smollett.
“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,” Strong said. “Whoever did this, do not forget that you are nothing but hate filled cowards while Jussie’s talent and activism will continue to shine a bright light on to the world for decades to come.”
Legend, who once appeared on Empire as a performer, sent his love to Smollett and his family.
“We support you and pray that you find peace and justice,” he wrote.
As one of Smollett’s co-stars on the show, Fox was sure to send prayers to Smollett, adding that she is extremely angry and hurt by the attack. The actress also shared a photo of Smollett with a rainbow-colored heart that reads “NO HATE” attached.
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
Comedian Margaret Cho and singer Kehlani wrote that they were speechless, while Zendaya added that this is something everyone should pay attention to, People reported. Matt Bomer, Kerry Washington, George Takei, and Kirsten Gillibrand sent their love as well.
In addition to the stars, GLAAD released a statement announcing that they have reached out to Fox, the network that airs Empire, as well as Smollett’s team to offer assistance to the star.
“Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world,” the organization said, according to Deadline.
The attack occurred on Tuesday morning in Chicago. According to a police report, Smollett had been walking around 2 a.m. when two men in ski masks approached him and yelled out racial and homophobic slurs. The unknown offenders physically beat Smollett, poured a chemical substance on his face, and wrapped a noose around the actor’s neck before fleeing the scene.
They also left a disturbing letter which read “You will die black f***,” an earlier Inquisitr story reported.
Smollett transported himself to Northwestern Hospital, where he is reportedly now in good condition. Chicago police are investigating the attack as a battery.