Democratic Calif. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris joined in a chorus of celebrities and elected officials who condemned the racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett in Chicago.
Harris, who recently announced that she is running for president, equated the attack with one of the most vicious of hate crimes.
“This was an attempted modern-day lynching,” Harris tweeted. “No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.”
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
Chicagop police have collected footage from city and private video cameras and are looking for leads in what they called a “possible racially-charged” attack.
A number of celebrities have taken to social media to voice their support for Smollett. Empire creator Lee Daniels recorded a video on Instagram showing love to Smollett and also posted a picture from a FaceTime conversation they had while he was hospitalized.
“You didn’t deserve, nor anybody deserves, to have a noose put around your neck,” Daniels said. “You are better than that, we are better than that, America is better than that.”
In a statement, 20th Century Fox also said that they were behind Smollet and were standing behind him.
“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 statement said. “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.”
Smollett, according to multiple reports, was attacked by two people at about 2 a.m. CT Tuesday. He was walking to get something to eat when the men began yelling racial and homophobic slurs.
The men reportedly poured bleach on him during the assault. The attacks attackers also tied a noose around his neck before yelling, “This is MAGA country,” and fleeing.
Smollett took himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released.