"Empire" Cast Reacts & Rallies Around Jussie Smollett Following Hate Attack

Chicago, IL – As Jussie Smollett recovers from his injuries following his fight against two alleged racist and homophobic attackers, his Empire family and surrounding members of the Hollywood community are letting the world know they have his back.

Empire lead Terrence Howard appeared on Good Morning America on 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.”

Elsewhere, a distraught Lee Daniels admitted he had to compose himself before taking to social media and vowed 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.”

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We got this @jussiesmollett 🌈👊🏾👊🏾

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Chicago police are investigating what they’re calling “possible racially charged assault and battery” and are currently coming up empty in their search for surveillence 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 expected to return to taping Empire soon with minor adjustments made to accommodate his transition. As of press time, his February 2 concert in Los Angeles is still on the books.

Outside of the extended Empire, a host of movie stars, musicians and even politicians also spoke out against hate.

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I wish what happened to my baby was just one big bad joke but it wasn’t and we all feel his pain right now. @jussiesmollett is pure love to the bone AND THAT IS WHY SO MANY ARE FEELING HIS PAIN BECAUSE IT IS OUR PAIN!!! I tell you one thing HATE WILL NOT WIN!!!! My baby is resilient and love still lives in him. The devil and his minions are very busy right now but one thing is for sure and two things are for certain #GODIS and that is all I know. This song needs to be downloaded until it goes triple platinum because the message is NEEDED. #weareresilientpeople AND #weaintgoingnowhereuntillwearefinished. The love so many have him just goes to show HE IS LOVE!!!! I LOVE YOU MY BABY MY BABY!!! #LOVEWINSALWAYS. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾💋💋💋

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Your light will continue to shine bright, which is the part these disgusting people fail to realize. I hope you make a speedy recovery and continue to educate, motivate, and inspire millions. Love you big bro Ray ❤️ #stopthehate #prayingpraying💕💕

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One of the most beautiful things that happen to me when working on Empire was meeting @jussiesmollett !! ♥️♥️ Lee, @theoriginalbigdaddy please do something. Do not let these motherfuckers get away with this !! Mayor of Chicago #RAHMEMANUEL @chicagosmayor, PLEASE MAKE THIS A PRIORITY!! Lee you bought the city of Chicago EMPIRE, which has been good for their city. Now they need to catch these despicable people who have committed such a horrific act of Hate .. 💔 #westandwithjussie @glaad

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I got bombarded with messages this morning about what some ignorant animals did to my brother @jussiesmollett in Chicago. I had to reach out and let him know however this message gets to him, I stand with you, I’m angry, and most of all I’m sick of the hatred that has been stirred up in these days and times we are living in. Jussie, you are an amazing, loving, super talented person, pls don’t let these bastards dim your light. I cannot believe that this mess happened, you always treated me and my people like family and I’ll never forget that. You got a real one in your corner. Sleep on it, pray on it, rise up and god willing…let’s keep making the world a better place. 💯✊🏾 #EmpireFox #StandUnited @empirefox @theoriginalbigdaddy @sanaahamri @tarajiphenson @theterrencehoward

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It’s indisputable that one of Jussie’s purpose-gifts is the ability to unify through love. It’s who he is. It’s what he does. His blazon of light can never – and will never – be diminished, quelled or subdued. This despicable act only shamefully reveals how deeply the diseases of hatred, inequality, racism and discrimination continue to course through our country’s veins. It’s not enough to just share about the unconscionable, heinous and deplorable acts birthed by them – we must shoulder the responsibility and honor of loving one another like never before. We MUST. For without love; we gain nothing, we live for nothing, we become nothing. Praying deeply for our brother as he heals and recovers. Fervently awaiting the moment that these vile, despicable cowards and purveyors of hate and evil are brought to a smoldering justice. Love – and @jussiesmollett’s light, voice and purpose – will never be silenced. Hate will not win. We will rise.

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WOW!! I’m just so damn NUMB n hurt by what happened to my #EMPiRE Nephew @JussieSmollett Who is soo LUVED by EVERYONE!! Prayers up NEPHEW as they punk asses didn’t make u and TRUST they wont break you!! WE GOT YOU! #RealTalk #Respect #Blessed #Family1st #FamilyStrong #EmpireRules 🦁🙇🏾‍♀️🤗

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The savage and brutal beating of my friend @jussiesmollett reminds me of how far we have left to go before we have achieved the most basic equality for our gay and lesbian friends, family and colleagues. A basic right to be free from physical harm and ridicule is not guaranteed in a society that promotes homophobia, transgender bias and violence against members of our own communities and families. All of us need to meditate and pray for real change and growth. None of us can be free so long as they can be violated and attacked so brutally out of ignorance and anger. We love you Jussie. Stand strong and we will stand with you! #standwithjussie #stophomofobia #stophate #endracism #lgbtq🌈 we love you so so much Jussie

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JUSSIE: derived from the Latin “iustitia” meaning “rightful, legal, FAIR, HONEST, EQUAL.” #IstandbyYouJussie 👑👑👑👑👑👑👑✊🏽 Reposted from @imitationbyjerell – We’re with you, Jussie. “Darkness cannot drive our darkness, only light can do that”-MLK SONG- Hurt People by @jussiesmollett –

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Sending prayers your way @jussiesmollett ….This is unbelievably sad. Why are we going backwards….this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world???? Why are we falling in love with hate???? God damn it people….Choose love…I repeat…Choose love. I will forever choose love and I will continue to teach my kids how to do the same. Stand strong brother

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Stand with my brother @jussiesmollett sending you light and love. Be strong 💪🏾 We got you

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Sending Prayers and love to @jussiesmollett ….🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽❤️❤️❤️ It’s very sad when you can’t even walk down the street without someone trying to attack you. My prayer is that we all walk in LOVE❤️

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You will R I S E ! #Truth @jussiesmollett 🙏🏾

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Sending so much love to you, @jussiesmollett. I’m so sorry for what happened to you. I stand with you. I love you, we love you and I’m praying for your heart and your healing. The fact that senseless, racist, homophobic, hateful acts are still happening in 2019 is disgusting and heartbreaking. My prayers go out to Jussie and everyone else suffering from bigoted and violent attacks. Awaiting justice! Actively celebrating light, love, humanity and freedom!

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❤️JUSSIE❤️ I am so sorry this happened to you! YOU ARE A KIND SOUL And a LIGHT to us ALL!! #Justice4JUSSIE

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You can never dim someone who is the manifestation of light. Sending love to the brilliant human/ artists/ and humanitarian @jussiesmollett ❤️I’m at a loss for words, but one thing I know for certain is an act of hate against you, is an act of hate against all of us. We will continue to stand with you ❤️

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Sending love & prayers to @jussiesmollett & his family. This news is heartbreaking & infuriating. Such a beautiful soul. I stand with you and I’m so sorry that this happened to you.

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There’s so much I want to say right now! Trust me it’s coming…. Get well my brother @jussiesmollett I love you so much! ❤️🙏🏾#dontjoke #stophomophobia

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I’m sending my love and prayers to my brother @jussiesmollett and his family. This was a racist and homophobic attack and justice must be served.

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Love and prayers @jussiesmollett

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T H I S. I S. A M E R I C A. I am TORN, I am ANGRY yet inspired by your strength. Took me a while to gather my thoughts & I’m still short of words! My brother @jussiesmollett just know that you are loved! 🙏🏿 #FuckedUpWorld

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I am in shock and despair about this!!! If I hear one more person say that this administration is not Encouraging the boldness Of the racist, sexist, homophobic attitudes in this country I am going to scream! People walking around ignorantly wearing a MAGA hat . And saying that it has nothing to do with anything but making the country great again. This is the kind of crap that happens. Wake up people stop hiding behind this bullshit let’s be real and call it and tell it like it is!! Down with MAGA!! Code word for what???

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