A variety of high-profile Democrat politicians and celebrities fell for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s hate crime hoax, posting tweets in response to the incident.
Back in 2019, Smollett alleged he’d been the victim of a racist, homophobic attack in which the perpetrators called him a “f*ggot” and “Empire n*gger” before screaming, “this is MAGA country” and using a rope and bleach on him. Smollett stood trial for staging the hate crime with the help of the Osundairo brothers and was found guilty on five of six charges Thursday.
After the incident was reported, now-Vice President Kamala Harris said that the incident was “an attempted modern day lynching.” (RELATED: Pelosi Deletes Sympathetic Tweet For Jussie Smollett)
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
Singer Ariana Grande shared a similar reaction, saying it made her “f–king sick to her stomach.”
what happened to jussie makes me really fucking sick to my stomach. i can’t believe shit like this is really still happening everyday. what kind of world ? sending all of the healing energy / love i possibly can and hoping for change. what can we do ? tell me & i’m there.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) January 29, 2019
Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called the attack “a horrific instance of the surging hostility toward minorities around the country.”
The racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett is a horrific instance of the surging hostility toward minorities around the country. We must come together to eradicate all forms of bigotry and violence. https://t.co/2accVEJrCG
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 29, 2019
Writer Shonda Rhimes said “We all have a responsibility to rise up against the ignorance and hate out there.”
Sending love, healing, and support to @jussiesmollett. We ALL have a responsibility to rise up against the ignorance and hate out there. If you know who did this, REPORT THEM TO THE POLICE. https://t.co/Q0PZdMeDtZ pic.twitter.com/XlkGbvUTIC
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 29, 2019
Now-President Joe Biden said what happened to Smollett “must never be tolerated in this country.”
What happened today to @JussieSmollett must never be tolerated in this country. We must stand up and demand that we no longer give this hate safe harbor; that homophobia and racism have no place on our streets or in our hearts. We are with you, Jussie. https://t.co/o8ilPu68CM
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 30, 2019
Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell responded, “Hate crimes like this are happening more frequently, egged on by careless, hate-filled rhetoric.”
What happened to Jussie Smollett is vile and tragic; thankfully, he will recover. But hate crimes like this are happening more frequently, egged on by careless hate-filled rhetoric. We start reducing these crimes by rejecting the speech – neither can ever be accepted as normal.
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) January 29, 2019
Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reacted, “This attack was not ‘possibly’ homophobic. It was a racist and homophobic attack.”
There is no such thing as “racially charged.”
This attack was not “possibly” homophobic. It was a racist and homophobic attack.
If you don’t like what is happening to our country, then work to change it. It is no one’s job to water down or sugar-coat the rise of hate crimes. https://t.co/QAi0IYtSeR
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 30, 2019
Actress Viola Davis said, “We all have to take this racist and homophobic act of violence very personally.”
OMG!! THIS is why the LGBTQ community continue to fight to be seen and PROTECTED against hate!
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 29, 2019
ABC News’ Robin Roberts did a sit-down interview with Smollett following the incident, in which he shared he was “pissed off” about both the attack and the attackers.
Smollett told Roberts he felt “the doubters would’ve supported [him] much more” if he’d said his attackers were “Muslim, Mexican or black.”