Colleagues and admirers of Jussie Smollett have expressed shock, sadness and love for the "Empire" actor amid news he was viciously attacked in what authorities said could be a hate crime.
According to Chicago police, Smollett was attacked in the early morning hours on Tuesday by two people "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs." They "poured an unknown chemical substance" on Smollett.
According to police, one of Smollett's alleged attackers also put a rope around his neck. Both fled the scene.
Smollett confirmed the incident to CNN's Don Lemon.
A champion for the LGBTQ community, Smollett has found well wishers from all corners of Hollywood.
Lee Daniels, creator of "Empire"
"It's taken me a minute to come to social media about this because, Jussie, you are my son. 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 f****t,' 'n****r' or whatever they said to you. You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that. It starts at home. It starts at home, yo. 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 f*** can come in and do the things that they did to you. Hold your head up, Jussie. I'm with you. I'll be there in a minute. It's just another f***ing day in America." - via Instagram
Danny Strong, actor/executive producer of "Empire"
"I'm deeply horrified and saddened by the racist and homophobic attacks against @JussieSmollett. 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 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."
"Sending love, healing, and support to @jussiesmollett. We ALL have a responsibility to rise up against the ignorance and hate out there. If you know who did this, REPORT THEM TO THE POLICE."
"I stand with you @jussiesmollett. We all do. This is America. Unfortunately."
"Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice."
"DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett."
Vivica A. Fox
"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!"
20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment
"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."
"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."
".@JussieSmollett has always been a part of the TIME'S UP family. Our hearts are with him and the Smolletts, and all those who have ever been a target of this kind of despicable hate."
"WE LOVE YOU, @JussieSmollett ! ! !"
"Please send all your love to @JussieSmollett today. And please teach your children the basic tenets of love, kindness, and respect for all human beings."
"No words. Love to you @JussieSmollett"
"This is so awful. Sending love to @JussieSmollett"
"Sending love and healing prayers to my brother @JussieSmollett . Keep living and being you. #HateCrimes"
"This is heartbreaking and terrifying...please pay attention to what's happening here. Sending all my love to @JussieSmollett"
"This is horrific. What kind of country do we live in."
"This. Is. Vile."
"Sending my love and prayers to you @JussieSmollett . This is unacceptable and they will be brought to justice."
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