Jussie Smollett’s “Empire” co-star Gabourey Sidibe posted an image on Instagram on Wednesday standing by Smollett and appearing to suggest that the media has manipulated his story.
“I know him, I believe him, I stand with him,” Sidibe wrote in the post, referencing Smollett with a hashtag.
The statement was accompanied by an image featuring a slightly edited version of a Malcolm X quote calling the press “irresponsible.” “If you aren’t careful, the media will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing,” the quote reads in Sidibe’s post.
Sidibe and Smollett have starred on the Fox musical drama series together since 2015.
Smollett reported to police that he was attacked by two men yelling racist and homophobic slurs late last month. It has since been reported by multiple outlets that Chicago PD now believe Smollett may have paid the men to stage the attack. Smollett’s lawyers have denied the accusations.
As TheWrap previously reported, Smollett’s upcoming scenes on “Empire” this season are being trimmed as the investigation continues, though the scenes he already shot will not be affected and 20th Century Fox Television has since reiterated that he is not being written out of the show.
“Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” the studio said in a statement.