On Tuesday, January 29, the internet was horrified by news of the vicious hate crime committed against Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
He was beaten, called racist and homophobic slurs, doused with bleach, and a noose was wrapped around his neck.
During the assault, the monsters said to him: "This is MAGA country." Unspeakable.
Jussie was hospitalized for multiple injuries, including a cracked rib from the beating.
It turns out that just over a week ago, his life was threatened in a hateful letter that may be linked to the crime itself.
Police are investigating it as a "possible" hate crime (that's legal jargon for definitely a hate crime).
In the mean time, celebrities are in the same place as the rest of us: shocked, angry, and wondering what they can do.
They have taken to social media to voice their support for him and openly wonder at the evil in some people's hearts.
Jussie Smollett is Lucky to be Alive
Jussie was attacked at 2am outside of a Chicago Subway on Tuesday, January 29. He was beaten by two men, who yelled both racist and homophobic slurs at him and identified him from his role on Empire. He was doused with an "unknown chemical substance," believed to be bleach, and a noose was wrapped around his neck. He was hospitalized but released later that day. One of his injuries was a cracked rib.
Police are on the case
TMZ reports that they've already acquired some CCTV footage within 12 hours of the assault, and are looking to obtain more, as well as speak to potential eyewitnesses. In the mean time, celebrities feel just like his friends do -- utterly hopeless in the face of such an evil attack. And so they are tweeting their support for him, expressing shock, anger, love, and even hope.
Spider-Man actress Zendaya was one of the first stars to tweet her horror at what happened.
Viola Davis is one of the most acclaimed black actresses in film or on television.
Janet Mock is a famous trans woman, and she is also a black woman. She knows as well as Jussie does how dangerous the world can be for those who are both black and LGBTQ+. Like Jussie, she has two targets on her back.
Andy is one of the most famous gay men on the planet. This attack was a sobering reminder to everyone that an attack like this can not only happen to someone famous -- it can happen BECAUSE someone is famous.