Taraji P. Henson Supports Jussie Smollett After Apparent Hate Crime: 'My Baby Is Resilient '
Taraji P. Henson, who plays Jussie Smollett's mother on Empire, posted a tribute to her "baby" on Instagram
As Jussie Smollett recovers from an apparent homophobic and racially charged attack, his Empire costar Taraji P. Henson is speaking out about the incident.
Henson, who plays Smollett’s mother on the hit Fox show, sent well-wishes to her “baby” on Instagram, writing, “We all feel his pain right now.”
“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. @jussiesmollett is pure love to the bone AND THAT IS WHY SO MANY ARE FEELING HIS PAIN BECAUSE IT IS OUR PAIN!!!” she wrote Wednesday. “I tell you one thing HATE WILL NOT WIN!!!! My baby is resilient and love still lives in him. The devil and his minions are very busy right now but one thing is for sure and two things are for certain #GODIS and that is all I know.”
The actress continued: “The love so many have him just goes to show HE IS LOVE!!!! I LOVE YOU MY BABY MY BABY!!!”
Along with the heartfelt message, Henson posted Smollett’s political protest anthem “F.U.W.”
On Wednesday, Terrence Howard appeared on Good Morning America, where he spoke out for the first time about what happened to Smollett, who portrays his son on the series.
“I heard he’s getting better. You know, he’s angry,” Howard said. “But I know Jussie. Jussie’s anger will dissipate and he will forgive these people for what they did. But he won’t, and we cannot, forget their actions. They have to be forgiven because it was done out of ignorance.”
Empire creator Lee Daniels also addressed the incident on social media.
In a video posted to Instagram, the 59-year-old director began, “It’s taken me a minute to come to social media about this because, Jussie, you are my son.”
“You didn’t deserve — nor does anybody 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,” a visibly emotional Daniels continued.
“You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that,” he added. “It starts at home … We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are because it shows that we are … [a] united front.”
At around 2 a.m. local time in Chicago on Tuesday, the Smollett went to the hospital after he was the victim of an apparent hate crime.
The Chicago Police Department confirmed in a statement that a member of the hit Fox show was involved in a “racially-charged assault and battery,” though they did not name Smollett.
“A 36-year-old man was walking … when two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him,” the statement read. “The offenders began to batter the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim. At some point during the incident, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck. The offenders fled the scene.”
A Chicago P.D. spokesperson told PEOPLE that no arrests have been made and there are no solid suspects at this time. The officer said the attackers were wearing masks but would not confirm what they said, only that it was racially charged and homophobic. The victim thought the liquid thrown on him was bleach, but detectives have yet to confirm that. He was by himself at the time of the attack.