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During an interview with Good Morning America, the actor said the show's cast and crew learned about the attack while they were on the set.
"Jaws dropped to the ground," he said. "And then when we learned that there had been letters that had been sent to Fox as threats about the potential of something like this, then we became much more frightened."
The Lucious Lyon star said he heard Smollett was "getting better." And even though Howard said Smollett was "angry," he said he will forgive his attackers.
"Jussie's anger will dissipate, and he will forgive these people for what they did," Howard said. "But he won't, and we cannot, forget their actions. They have to be forgiven because it was done out of ignorance."
He also spoke highly of his co-star.
"Jussie's the one that starts singing when everybody's in a bad mood," he added. "He's the one that cheers everybody up. He's the one that does all the Instagrams if he catches you sleeping....Today, no one was caught sleeping. No one even took time to close their eyes and nap. They were all in shock that our family—you know, the Fox family, the Empire family, the Lyon family—you know, were attacked by a bunch of hyenas today."