Newsbeat

Empire's Jussie Smollett: Stars show support after attack

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAttacked actor 'has tasted brutality of hatred'

Stars are showing their support for actor Jussie Smollett after he was the victim of a suspected hate crime in Chicago.

The 35-year-old Empire actor was attacked by two men "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs", police say.

He was hit in the face, had an "unknown chemical substance" poured on him and a rope was wrapped around his neck.

Jussie has told police his attackers also made reference to "MAGA" (Make America Great Again).

The slogan was used by Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

Oscar winner Viola Davis and supermodel Naomi Campbell are among those sharing their support.

Image copyright Getty Images

Naomi Campbell, who starred in the first two seasons of the musical show about a hip-hop mogul whose sons and ex-wife fight over his business, said that one of the most beautiful things to happen to her when working on Empire was meeting Jussie Smollett.

Alongside a picture of the two of them, she called on the Mayor of Chicago to catch the "despicable people" who have committed this "act of hate".

Oscar winner Viola Davis shared a photo of Jussie on her Instagram page.

Jussie, who plays Jamal Lyon, in Empire, came out on US TV show Ellen in 2015.

It's after he faced scrutiny in his personal life when his character on the show came out as being gay.

At the time he told Ellen "there is, without a doubt, no closet that I've ever been in and I just wanted to make that clear".

The TV host tweeted her support for him and his family.

Jussie's co-star, Grace Byers, is among those expressing their horror at the attack.

"This despicable act only shamefully reveals how deeply the diseases of hatred, inequality, racism and discrimination continue to course through our country's veins," she said.

Lee Daniels, the creator of Empire, posted an emotional video on Instagram supporting Jussie, in which he called him "my son".

"You didn't deserve, nor anybody deserves, to have a noose put around your neck.

"America is better than that. It starts at home. We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are, because it shows that we are united.

"Hold your head up Jussie. I'm with you," he said.

American comedian and presenter Steve Harvey also posted a video for Jussie on Instagram,calling him "little brother" and saying a lot of people are backing him.

"This ain't about sexual preference or nothing. This is about coming to the aid of another brother that has tasted the brutality of hatred and racism and bigotry."

Singer and actress Janelle Monae also shared a photo of herself with Jussie.

"It is still a risk daily to be a BLACK, OUT and PROUD human being," she wrote.

Jada Pinkett Smith also posted a news report about the attack.

Some media reports say that the actor had bleach poured on him but that's not been confirmed yet.

According to the American website TMZ, Jussie has now been discharged from hospital.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here.

More on this story