Taraji P. Henson and other members of the “Empire” cast have been given around-the-clock security in the wake of the vicious attack on Jussie Smollett.
Smollett told police that thugs yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured an unknown chemical substance over him, believed to be bleach, and wrapped a rope around his neck. Police have combed through hours of surveillance footage, but they say they have not been able to find any images of the alleged attackers.
Henson took to social media Wednesday to say, “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.”
"Empire" cast member Terence Howard told "Good Morning America" that Smollett is angry about the attack.
“He will forgive these people for what they did. But he won't, and we cannot, forget their actions,” Howard said. “They have to be forgiven because it was done out of ignorance."
Other major names have taken to social media to show solidarity for Smollett.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker tweeted: “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.”
John Legend said he was “sending love” to the actor and hopes he finds peace and justice.
The attack came just a week after Smollett was sent hate mail saying “you will die” along with a crude drawing show him being lynched. There was white powder believed to be Tylenol inside the envelope. The letters were cut from newspapers and magazines. “MAGA” for “Make America Great Again,” President Trump's campaign slogan, was written in one corner
Rich Frankel, vice president of T&M Protection Resources and former FBI agent, reviewed the documents sent to Smollett for Inside Edition. He said that since the letters were cut out, there could be fingerprints on the images that can be used to identify the suspects.
The “Empire” set was dark on Tuesday because of the dangerously cold weather but shooting is expected to resume this week.
Smollett said he is going ahead with a scheduled performance in Los Angeles on Saturday.