Social media, fans and celebrities are offering overwhelming support for actor Jussie Smollett, standing behind him after an apparent hate crime against him. Smollett, 35, who stars as Jamal Lyon on Fox’s Empire, is recovering after he was attacked on Tuesday by two unknown men in what was a homophobic and racially-charged incident in Chicago.

The Chicago Police Department said that the television star was walking down a street when he was approached by the men who yelled out racial and homophobic slurs. Smollett was attacked about the face and the men also poured a chemical substance onto him and tied a rope around his neck.

20th Century Fox Television said in a statement: “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.”

Halle Berry, Michael B. Jordan, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey, Demi Lovato, Gabrielle Union, Reese Witherspoon, 50 Cent and many other celebrities also tweeted out in support of the actor. 

Police continue search for men involved in possible ‘racially-charged, hate crime’ against Jussie Smollett


Editorial credit: Eugene Powers /