Jussie Smollett Attacked: Lee Daniels, Viola Davis, Lena Waithe and More Respond

"Jussie, you are my son," Daniels said in an emotional video to the "Empire" actor, who was the victim of a racist, homophobic attack.
Jussie Smollett Attacked: Lee Daniels, Viola Davis, Lena Waithe React

Hollywood was saddened and stunned to learn of a senseless attack on actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago on Tuesday. The “Empire” star was assaulted by two men who hurled racist and homophobic epithets, poured bleach on him, and tied a noose around his neck. The assailants reportedly yelled, “This is MAGA country.” Smollett is currently recovering at Northwestern Hospital and is in good condition — incredibly.

Smollett is best known for his role as out gay singer Jamal Lyon on ABC’s “Empire,” created by filmmaker Lee Daniels. Daniels, who is also gay, sent Smollett a powerful message of support in an emotional Instagram video. Calling the actor “my son,” Daniels said:

“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—, n—, or whatever they said to you. We are better than that. America is better than that. It starts at home. We have to love each other regardless of whatever sexual orientation we are. … and no racist fuck can come in and do the things they did to you. Hold your head up, Jussie. I’m with you, I’ll be there in a minute. It’s just another fucking day in America.”


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We got this @jussiesmollett 🌈👊🏾👊🏾

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Daniels isn’t the only entertainer to voice support for Smollett. Viola Davis wrote on Twitter, “We ALL have to take this racist and homophobic act of violence very personally! My arms are around you, Jussie Smollett.”

Lesbian television writer and producer Lena Waithe posted a photo of Smollett to Instagram, referencing Donald Glover’s song “This Is America” in her caption: “I stand with you Jussie Smollett. We all do. This is America. Unfortunately.”

Out gay actor Wilson Cruz wrote: “This will not go unanswered. When you attack one of us, you will answer to ALL OF US. Know that.”

Kerry Washington was more succinct. “DEAR GOD!,” she wrote. “Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.”

See more responses below.


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