Hollywood stars are showing their support for Jussie Smollett after he was attacked.
Police in the US say they’re investigating it as a suspected homophobic and racist attack after “two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs”.
The Empire actor needed hospital treatment after the men punched him in the face, poured a chemical substance on him and tied a rope around his neck.
Oscar winner Viola Davis and supermodel Naomi Campbell are among those sharing their support.
Naomi Campbell, who starred in the first two seasons of the musical show about a hip-hop mogul whose sons and ex-wife fight over his business, said that one of the most beautiful things to happen to her when working on Empire was meeting Jussie Smollett.
Alongside a picture of the two of them, she called on the Mayor of Chicago to catch the “despicable people” who have committed this “act of hate”.
Oscar winner Viola Davis shared a photo of Jussie on her Instagram page.
Jussie, who plays Jamal Lyon, in Empire, came out on US TV show Ellen in 2015.
It’s after he faced scrutiny in his personal life when his character on the show came out as being gay.
At the time he told Ellen “there is, without a doubt, no closet that I’ve ever been in and I just wanted to make that clear”.
The TV host tweeted her support for him and his family.
Jussie’s co-star, Grace Byers, is among those expressing their horror at the attack.
“This despicable act only shamefully reveals how deeply the diseases of hatred, inequality, racism and discrimination continue to course through our country’s veins,” she said.
Singer and actress Janelle Monae also shared a photo of herself with Jussie.
“It is still a risk daily to be a BLACK, OUT and PROUD human being,” she wrote.
Jada Pinkett Smith also posted a news report about the attack.
Some media reports say that the actor had bleach poured on him but that’s not been confirmed yet.
According to the American website TMZ, Jussie has now been discharged from hospital.