"Thinking of Jussie," wrote If Beale Street Could Talk director Barry Jenkins, who called Smollett the "kindest soul."
Viola Davis tweeted, "THIS is why the LGBTQ community continue to fight to be seen and PROTECTED against hate!"
Zendaya commented, "I just hope there is justice in this hateful and targeted act of violence."
One of the most emotional responses to the incident came from Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, who said in a video, "It's taken me a minute to come to social media about this because Jussie, you are my son. You didn't deserve, nor anybody deserves, to have a noose put around your neck, to have bleach thrown on you, to be called, 'die f-----, n-----, ' or whatever they said to you. You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that. It starts at home. It starts at home, yo. We have to love each other, regardless of what sexual orientation we are. Because it shows we are a united front. And no racist f--k can come in and do the things 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--king day in America."
Lee Daniels is breaking his silence about the racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett: "You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that." pic.twitter.com/Z4IwhOEO5L— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) January 29, 2019
TMZ first reported the news about Smollett's assault and the Chicago Police later released a statement confirming a cast member on the Fox drama was beaten and hospitalized. (Chicago police did not mention Smollett by name.)
According to the police statement, two men approached the 36-year-old and "gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs toward him."
Stars like John Legend, Danielle Brooks and Kerry Washington were among the public voices speaking out about the attack and the motives behind it, as were a number of journalists and activists.
Thinking of Jussie. Saddened. Heartbroken. Angry. ALL of it. Wouldn't matter that he is the kindest soul. But he IS the kindest soul. And this is FUCKED. This is what all that hateful mongering has wrought. Are you PROUD???— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) January 29, 2019
OMG!! THIS is why the LGBTQ community continue to fight to be seen and PROTECTED against hate!— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 29, 2019
We ALL have to take this racist and homophobic act of violence very personally! My arms are around you @jussiesmollett. You are loved! https://t.co/bprDZ3Luah
LGBTQ folks fight for people who never fight for us. We know it.— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) January 29, 2019
Black queer folk face it from white community, our own community and some days we are just beat up.
We try to protect each other as best we can. We try to heal each other. But some days we just bleed
To my brother @JussieSmollett I'm praying for your strength not only physically but that spiritually and mentally you recover from this tragedy. You are a King. 🙏🏾— Danielle Brooks (@thedanieb) January 29, 2019
Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice.— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 29, 2019
This is horrific. What kind of country do we live in. https://t.co/unvzWmo6XD— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 29, 2019
My heart breaks for Jussie. The hatred this country revels in is sickening.— Ira (@ira) January 29, 2019
DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 29, 2019
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.— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 29, 2019