Jussie Smollet
Photo: Getty

Stars are standing behind Empire star Jussie Smollett after he was hospitalized following a homophobic and racist attack in Chicago early Tuesday morning, according to Chicago police.

Two unidentified offenders yelled homophobic and racial slurs at the 35-year-old actor, physically attacked him, poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him, and put a rope around his neck, police added, per CNN. Smollett brought himself to Northwestern Hospital and is in “good condition,” authorities revealed.

A spokesperson for the Chicago PD later confirmed that Smollett told detectives in a follow-up interview that his assailants yelled “MAGA country,” referencing Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.” TMZ first reported the assault.

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Smollett’s reps have not yet publicly responded to the news. The actor has been on Empire since 2015 and portrays Jamal Lyon, the middle son of hip-hop tycoon Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie (Taraji P. Henson). Both Smollett and his character Jamal are gay.

After news broke of Smollett’s assault, fans, supporters, co-stars, and more flocked to his defense online.

Fellow Empire star Vivica A. Fox tweeted that she’s “so angry and hurt” about news of the attack. “THIS MUST STOP!!” she added. “SPREAD LOVE NOT HATE! PRAYERS UP TO U NEPHEW!”

John Legend tweeted, “Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice.”

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Kerry Washington wrote, “DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.”

Lee Daniels, director and Empire co-creator, posted a tearful message on Instagram condemning the hate crimes against the actor and sending him messages of hope


Empire co-creator Danny Strong also spoke out, praising Smollett and denouncing racism and homophobia.

Janet Mock shared her love for the actor on Twitter.

20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment released a statement saying they’re “deeply saddened and outraged” to hear that Smollett was “viciously attacked.”

The LGBTQ organization GLAAD also released a statement saying they reached out to Fox and Smollett’s team offering any help needed.

Other public figures also spoke up:

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This post originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US