As Empire star Jussie Smollett recovers from the violent attack against him on Tuesday morning, his family — which includes actors Jake and Jurnee Smollett — released a statement on Thursday, January 31, denouncing this act of “domestic terrorism.”
Here is their statement in full:
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, our beloved son and brother, Jussie, was the victim of a violent and unprovoked attack. We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime. Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice. Our family thanks everyone for their prayers and the huge amount of love he has received. We are thankful to our village for your immense support during this trying time. We are so grateful that God saw him through this cowardly attack alive. Jussie is a warrior whose light cannot be dimmed. We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country. Oftentimes ending fatally, these are inhumane acts of domestic terrorism and they should be treated as such. They will continue to occur until we hold each other accountable. Make no mistake, words matter. Hateful words lead to hateful actions. Radical love is the only solution, but passivity will be our downfall. We, as a family, will continue to work for love, equity and justice until it reigns supreme in our nation and all over the world.
With love & gratitude,
The Smollett Family
Incidentally, President Trump also commented on the attack Thursday, speaking to the White House press pool in the Oval Office. According to Politico, Trump called the violence “horrible” and said, “It doesn’t get worse, as far as I’m concerned.” He did not, however, comment on Smollett’s claim that the assailants said, “This is MAGA country.”