Kevin Hart Faces Backlash for Speaking Out About Jussie Smollett Attack

Comedian previously faced controversy for his homophobic jokes and social media posts

By Mike Vulpo Jan 30, 2019 5:58 PMTags
Watch: Jussie Smollett Attacked in Hate Crime, "Empire" Reacts

Kevin Hart's well wishes to Jussie Smollett are being met with some criticism.

Earlier in the week, the comedian took to social media and reacted to the shocking attack on the Empire star.

"Sending prayers your way @jussiesmollett ....This is unbelievably sad. Why are we going backwards....this is disgusting. We as people have to do better. WTF is going on the world????" he wrote on Instagram. " Why are we falling in love with hate???? God damn it people....Choose love...I repeat...Choose love. I will forever choose love and I will continue to teach my kids how to do the same. Stand strong brother."

While many agreed with the sentiment and showed their support in the comments section, others were quick to criticize the messenger.

"You were just throwing hissy fits about not being able to make homophobic jokes," one commentator wrote. "This is disrespectful honestly."

Stars Call for Justice as Jussie Smollett Recovers From Homophobic, Racist Attack

On Wednesday morning, Kevin's post was still up. He also followed up with a separate message.

"Operation spread love is in full effect damn it. I don't condone or believe in hate, in fact I despite it. Hate makes me sick to my stomach…It's pointless," he shared on social media. "Cowards and weak individuals embrace it. I choose love…I love all of you. I challenge the rest of the world 2 do the same."

Nathan Congleton/NBC

For those who may not recall, Kevin chose to step down from hosting the 2019 Oscars after the Academy had asked him to apologize for his past homophobic remarks during standup comedy routines and on his Twitter account.

At the time, he refused to back down from the hosting gig and refused to apologize for the comments he had once made. He would ultimately apologize to the LGBTQ community.

As for how Jussie is doing today, his rep tells NBC News that he is out of the hospital and recovering. The actor also continues to receive support from fans, friends and co-stars like Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard.

"I wish what happened to my baby was just one big bad joke but it wasn't and we all feel his pain right now," Taraji shared on social media. "@jussiesmollett is pure love to the bone AND THAT IS WHY SO MANY ARE FEELING HIS PAIN BECAUSE IT IS OUR PAIN!!! I tell you one thing HATE WILL NOT WIN!!!! My baby is resilient and love still lives in him."

Chicago Police previously confirmed that authorities received a report of a "possible racially-charged assault and battery" involving a cast member from Empire.

Those with any information are asked to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to