GLAAD and Color of Change Call Out Hate

February 7, 2019

Today, in solidarity with the black LGBTQ community, GLAAD and Color Of Change, along with a number of celebrities, activists and LGBTQ leaders, launched Call Out Hate, a campaign that demands justice in the wake of the vicious attack against Empire actor Jussie Smollett. Last week, Smollett was assaulted in Chicago by two men who tied a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical over him while uttering homophobic and racial slurs. Call Out Hate is determined to expose what Smollett and black LGBTQ people in this country already know: that they are constantly the targets of racist, homophobic, and transphobic violence.

In the campaign video, produced by NowThis, celebrities from Ava DuVernay to Lena Waithe call on elected officials and journalists to take a stand against the violence levied at black LGBTQ Americans. Their message is clear: hate, homophobia, and racism are being stoked everyday by the Trump Administration through its “make America great again” slogan, and ideology of white supremacy and white nationalism. Other celebrities included in the video include Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (UnREAL), Wilson Cruz (Star Trek: Discovery), Shalita Grant (NCIS: New Orleans), Keiynan Lonsdale (Love, Simon), Kendrick Sampson (Insecure), writer Kiese Laymon, director Dee Rees, DJ and singer Zeke Thomas, and Nico Tortorella (Younger).

The Call Out Hate website includes a petition that calls on media outlets to be more aggressive and honest in their reporting, as some outlets like Entertainment Tonight and others have shied away from calling the attack on Smollett a hate crime, opting for softer terms like “racially charged.” With Call Out Hate, powerful black voices in Hollywood are sending a clear message to journalists: it is their responsibility to call hate by its name, and they need to stop enabling or shielding those who inflict violence on people of color, LGBTQ people, and LGBTQ people of color, in the name of right-wing politics. 

GLAAD and Color Of Change have long been pioneers in holding media accountable for the language they use and the narratives they advance and this campaign is the next step in this long history. GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis had this to say about Call Out Hate: “Jussie’s experience is sadly not unique in today’s America. Countless LGBTQ and people of color, as well as those at the intersections of these communities, are faced with hate-motivated violence on a near daily basis. GLAAD is proud to stand united with Color of Change to raise our collective voices in a show of solidarity for Jussie, and for all of those who experience hate-violence because of who they are or who they love.”

White no arrests have yet been made in the brutal assault against Smollett, actors, directors, screenwriters, politicians, fans and more have condemned the attack. This attack is also not by any means an isolated incident, as a recent FBI report has shown that hate crimes are on the rise nationwide. With Call Out Hate, more than a dozen celebrities send their support and solidarity to Smollett and speak out about life at the intersection of hate and homophobia.

Take action now by visiting the Call Out Hate website and signing the petition.