VIDEO: The cast of FOX's 'Empire' goes purple for #spiritday

The cast of Empire will be wearing purple for Spirit Day on October 16. Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and Jussie Smollett recorded a video to encourage fans to join them in a stand of support for LGBT youth.

 

The FOX series, set to premiere later this season, follows Lucious Lyon (Howard), the CEO of a successful record label who is diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and starts looking for a successor in one of his three sons. His son Jamal (Smollett) is a talented musician and gay, which infuriates his father. Jamal has the support of Cookie (Henson), his mom and Lucious' ex-wife. Cookie was just released from prison after spending nearly two decades there on drug charges, taking the fall for her ex-husband.

Millions wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for LGBT youth and to speak out against bullying. Spirit Day was started in 2010 as a response to the young people who had taken their own lives. With GLAAD’s help, Spirit Day has since garnered widespread support from celebrities, TV news and entertainment programs, corporations, organizations, schools, local communities, and even national landmarks. Spirit Day coincides with GLSEN’s Ally Week, as well as National Bullying Prevention Month.

According to GLSEN's 2011 National School Climate Survey, 63.5% of LGBT students reported feeling unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, 43.9% because of their gender expression. GLSEN also reported that 81.9% of LGBT students report being verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation, and 63.9% because of their gender expression.

Spirit Day, which will take place on October 16, inspires millions to wear purple or ‘go purple’ online in a united stand against bullying and to show their support for LGBT youth.

For more information and ways to participate, visit the Spirit Day page.