Kevin Hart slammed for sending prayers to Jussie Smollett; critics cite homophobic tweets

The comedian took to social media to offer his support for the actor in the wake of the attack against him, but many are still angered over his recent controversies

(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Universal Pictures)


 

Celebrities far and wide have come to the defense of Jussie Smollett and offered encouraging words of support after a hateful and violent attack.

Kevin Hart also sent supportive sentiments the Empire star’s way but was called out and criticized with many still angered over homophobic jokes that have recently dogged him into stepping down as host of the Oscars, PEOPLE reports.

READ MORE: ‘Empire’ creator Lee Daniels responds to Jussie Smollett’s brutal attack as 911 call is released

Hart was blasted for old homophobic jokes and found himself in the middle of controversy He has apologized several times, and has made several appearances on shows like “Good Morning America” and “Ellen” in which comedian Ellen DeGeneres encouraged him to consider hosting the Oscars. But the internet was far less forgiving and continued to remind him of the jokes, insisting the impact lingered.

TV writer Ira Madison III was among the first to come down on Hart.

https://twitter.com/ira/status/1090340997387571200

Another Twitter user echoed him:

“This is your reminder that his jokes reflect actual attitudes that produce what happened to Jussie,” wrote another.

Though they were few, Hart did have his defenders as well.

According to Chicago police, Smollett was walking out a Subway eatery in Chicago early Tuesday at around 2 a.m. when someone yelled “Aren’t you that f***ot Empire n*****?”

That’s reportedly when two suspects wearing ski masks screamed “This is MAGA country!” A noose was wrapped around Smollett’s neck, and he was beaten to the point that a rib was fractured.

According to That Grape Juice, Fox Studios received hate mail earlier this month targeted to the 36-year-old actor. Cut out letters from magazines spelled out “You will die black f**.”

Empire creator Lee Daniels sounded off about the brutal attack on Instagram.

“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–got n–ga’ or whatever they said to you. You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that. It starts at home. It starts at home, yo.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtOrBBmH6GK/

READ MORE: Kamala Harris calls attack on Jussie Smollett ‘modern-day lynching’

20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment also released 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. 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.”

The Chicago Police Department said they are currently investigating as a hate crime but no video footage has surfaced just yet.