CHICAGO (CBS)– Colleagues and supporters of Jussie Smollet have released statements after learning that the ‘Empire’ actor had been attacked in Chicago.
The Chicago Police Department reported of a possible racially-charged assault and battery against an ‘Empire’ cast member. Sources told CBS 2 the cast member is Jussie Smollett.
Two offenders yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, attacked him and then poured an unknown chemical substance on him.
‘Empire’ co-star Vivica A. Fox took to Twitter to show her support. She said she is so “angry and hurt about this.”
Actress Viola Davis said her “arms are you [Jussie Smollett].”
The NAACP released a statement about Smollett and the dangers of hate crimes.
“We are beyond troubled to hear about the recent racist and homophobic fueled attack on NAACP Image Award winner, acclaimed actor and activist Jussie Smollett,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson stated. “As more details come out about the severity of these allegations, we are staying close to updates around Jussie Smollett’s hospitalization and any next steps we can take to support him and his family during this trying time.”
Matthew Lasky, a representative from GLAAD, an LGBTQ activist organization, said GLAAD has reached out to Smollett’s team to offer assistance as well as support.
“Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ,” Lasky stated.
He said according to the Anti-Violence Project, the severity of hate violence against LGBTQ people is increasing. Lasky provided data that showed 46 percent of LGBTQ survivors of hate violence sustained an injury in 2017 compared to 31 percent in 2016.
Reverend Al Sharpton tweeted, “The reported hate attack on my friend and brother, actor Jussie Smollett is despicable and outrageous. The guilty must face the maximum.”
“Sending my love and prayers to you JussieSmollett . This is unacceptable and they will be brought to justice,” tweeted actor Matt Bomer.
“JussieSmollett is one of the fiercest people I know. This hatred won’t stop his championing for a better world. If anything, it will probably motivate him more. It has me,” tweeted actor Jackée Harry.
Police said the victim was walking in the 300 block of E. Lower Water Street when two offenders yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him.