Just hours after TMZ is reported that Empire star Jussie Smollett was hospitalized in Chicago after allegedly being attacked in what is appearing to be a hate crime, fans and fellow celebs quickly took to social media to send their love and support.
Police say Smollett, 36, told them that early Tuesday, he was walking out of a Subway sandwich shop around 2 a.m., when someone yelled: “Aren’t you that f***ot Empire n*****?” Then two white men wearing ski masks reportedly screamed “This is MAGA country!” At some point during the racially charged assault a noose was allegedly wrapped around Smollett’s neck, and he was beaten so brutally that a rib was fractured, according to reports.
“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” Chicago police said in a statement released Tuesday.
Meanwhile transgender rights activist and editor-in-chief of Out magazine Raquel Willis was among the first to condemn the attack.
Sending love to Jussie and his loved ones. 🙏🏽
The hate that fuels white supremacy is the same hate that fuels homophobia. A conscientious society realizes it’s at war with both. https://t.co/hXo56SRDYj
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) January 29, 2019
Meanwhile, entertainment news site That Grape Juice is also reporting that Fox Studios received hate mail earlier this month targeted at the 36-year-old actor. Haphazardly cut out letters from magazines were used to spell out “You will die black f**.”
But his supporters are vocal about their backing of him and are calling for justice.
New York Times best selling author and blogger Luvvie Ajayi echoed that.
View this post on Instagram
Sending ALL THE LOVE and healing to my homie @jussiesmollett, who was brutally attacked last night by MAGA supporters. It is horrific and out of pocket that this can still happen in 2019. They targeted him because he is Black. They targeted him cuz he's gay. They targeted him because the man in the highest office has emboldened and encouraged hate to thrive. This was a hate crime. . . Jussie, I'm so sorry this happened to you. You didn't deserve it and please continue to live your truth as loud as you want. We love you!!! 🙏🏾💜😍
Love & Hip Hop: Miami star Jessie Woo was also one of many standing by Smollett.
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Our Brudder @jussiesmollett was attacked late last night in Chicago for being a BLACK “fag**t” by MAGA SUPPORTERS. If this isn’t a wake up call for all of us that our Psychopath-In-Thief @realdonaldtrump is leading this country into a very dark hole… a hole our ancestors fought centuries to keep us out of, I don’t know what is 😕 prayers up for @jussiesmollett ❤️🙏🏿 you’re in our hearts 💕 May God heal every part of your body and mind as you recover from this attack ❤️🇭🇹 #JessieWoo
The actor is beloved in the Black community so it comes as no surprise that everyone from Kerry Washington and John Legend to activists and politicians like Deray Mckesson and Andrew Gillum have sent love his way.
Check out just a smattering of the support and well wishes below.
What happened to Jussie is yet another reminder that when folks claim “the LGBT community” is diverting attention from Black folks’ fight for justice, they are willfully disregarding the fact that Black LGBT are the most vulnerable of us all. We have to ride for them, they are US
— Jamilah (Ja-MEE-Lah) 💗💚 (@JamilahLemieux) January 29, 2019
— deray (@deray) January 29, 2019
DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 29, 2019
Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 29, 2019
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) January 29, 2019