Days after surviving of a brutal hate crime, Jussie Smollett still plans to keep his scheduled performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Smollett’s reps confirmed his performance to Page Six.
Smollett was attacked in Chicago on Tuesday when two assailants approached him yelling racist and homophobic slurs. They tied a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him in what Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker called “an attempted modern-day lynching,” with the latter calling for Congress to support a bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime.
The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe.
To those in Congress who don't feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention. https://t.co/EwXFxl5f2m
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 29, 2019
Though Smollett had reportedly turned down extra security prior to the attack, going forward he and the rest of the Empire cast will be provided with armed security for the duration of their shoot in Chicago.
On Wednesday, the Chicago Police Department released a screenshot from a surveillance video of two persons of interest in connection with the attack on Smollett, which they are treating as a potential hate crime.
Taraji P. Henson took to Instagram to voice her love and support for her Empire son, echoing what many have said about the 36-year-old singer and actor, that he “is pure love to the bone.”
View this post on Instagram
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!!! 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. This song needs to be downloaded until it goes triple platinum because the message is NEEDED. #weareresilientpeople AND #weaintgoingnowhereuntillwearefinished. The love so many have for him just goes to show HE IS LOVE!!!! I LOVE YOU MY BABY MY BABY!!! #LOVEWINSALWAYS.
While many celebrities have stepped up in support of Smollett, some have proven more controversial than others. Kevin Hart faced a public dragging with his well-wishes after some old homophobic jokes he made in the past resurfaced during his brief tenure as prospective Oscar host. Hart, before saying he didn’t want to be an ally to the LGBTQ community, went on Ellen, where host Ellen DeGeneres defended him.
Now, DeGeneres has tweeted her support of Smollett, who came out on her show four years ago, but the internet is feeling some type of way about it.
As much love as you sent Kevin Hart?
— roxane gay (@rgay) January 30, 2019
And less than four weeks ago, you sat across from Kevin Hart and said "Don't let those people win.” But “those people” whom you described as “haters” were queer black people hoping that you’d take the relationship between language and violence more seriously. https://t.co/k7uW8xG9gf
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) January 30, 2019
The blowback to Hart and DeGeneres is understandable and merited, but more important is to acknowledge Smollett’s resilience, no doubt buoyed by the outpouring of affection he’s received in the past few days. If you’d like to attend the show on Saturday, good luck—it’s sold out. May the show go on.
If you’re experiencing anti-LGBTQ hate violence in the Chicago area, reach out to local NCAVP partner Center on Halsted Anti-Violence Project at (773) 472-6469, Ext. 474. For incidents across the nation, find your local NCAVP partner at avp.org/ncavp.