Empire Creator Lee Daniels Sends Emotional Message to Jussie Smollett: "Hold Your Head Up"

The "Empire" creator gets emotional in a heartfelt message to the actor.

By Alyssa Morin Jan 29, 2019 9:42 PMTags
Lee Daniels, Jussie SmollettGetty Images

Empire creator Lee Daniels is sending his love to actor and activist Jussie Smollett after news broke that he was hospitalized after being assaulted in Chicago. 

Earlier today, E! News learned that Smollett was the victim of a possible homophobic and racist attack, and the writer-director wants the actor to stay strong through all of this. 

Daniels shared his emotional reaction to the news on Instagram, saying, "It's taken me a minute to come to social media about this because Jussie, you are my son." 

"You didn't deserve to have a noose put around your neck, to have bleach thrown on you, to be called 'die f––––t, n––––r,' or whatever they said to you. You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that. We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are, because it shows that we are united."

Reassuring the actor to "hold your head up," Daniels finishes his message, "No racist f––k can come in and do the things that they did to you. Hold your head up, Jussie. I'm with you, I'll be there in a minute. It's just another f–––––g day in America."

The Empire creator captioned his video, "We got this, @jussiesmollett."

Empire's Jussie Smollett Hospitalized After Homophobic, Racist Attack

According to the Chicago police, two unknown suspects approached the Empire star and yelled racial and homophobic slurs towards him. The offenders assaulted the actor and poured an unknown chemical substance on him. At some point, they wrapped a rope around the actor's neck and fled the scene. Smollett was self-transported to the hospital.

Daniels isn't the only person speaking out against Jussie's horrific attack. 

Danielle Brooks, Vivica A. Fox, John Legend, Shonda RhimesZendaya and more are calling for justice.

Rachel Luna/Getty Images

Rhimes tweeted, "We ALL have a responsibility to rise up against the ignorance and hate out there. If you know who did this to @jussiesmollett, REPORT THEM TO THE POLICE." 

Brooks added, "They can try to break you physically, but they can't break your spirit. To my freind @jussiesmollet, I love you King. I am praying for you and your family. This is reality. America, we must do better."

The NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, also issued a statement on Smollett's assault. 

"The recent racist and homophobic attack on acclaimed actor and activist Jussie Smollett is troubling. The rise in hate crimes is directly linked to President Donald J. Trump's racist and xenophobic rhetoric. It is dangerous for any society to allow a tone of divisiveness and hatred to dominate the political discourse."

Noting that "as this rhetoric continues to bleed into our everyday lives, dangerous behavior will continue to place many law-abiding individuals at risk. We pray for a full physical and mental recovery Jussie Smollett and many unnamed victims of this forum of hate based terrorism."

The Chicago Police are asking people who may have information on the incident to please contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jussie and his family during this time.