Color Of Change and GLAAD Launch ‘Call Out Hate’ Campaign in Solidarity with Black LGBTQ Community

February 6, 2019

Ava Duvernay: “I stand with Color Of Change and GLAAD to reject hate and homophobia”

Wilson Cruz, Angelica Ross, Andre Holland, Kendrick Sampson, Zeke Thomas, Dee Rees, Lena Waithe and other Hollywood celebs join Call Out Hate

NEW YORK – Today, Color Of Change and GLAAD launched Call Out Hate with a slew of celebrities, activists and LGBT leaders demanding 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 dedicated to exposing what Smollett and Black LGBT people all over this country know: they are constantly the targets of racist, homophobic, transphobic violence.

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


The Call Out Hate website urges visitors to sign a petition calling on media outlets to be more aggressive and honest in their reporting; outlets like NBC News and Entertainment Tonight have shied away from calling the attack on Smollett a hate crime and instead have opted to use softer, vague terms like “racially charged.”

Color Of Change and GLAAD have long been pioneers in holding media accountable for the language they use and the narratives they advance. The way the US media reports stories like Smollett’s often downplays violence against minorities while fueling apathy and lack of action when it comes to violence against Black LGBT people.

With Call Out Hate, powerful Black voices in Hollywood are putting journalists on notice: it’s their responsibility to call hate by its name and stop enabling or shielding those who inflict violence on people of color and queer people in the name of right-wing politics.

What Smollett suffered is far from an isolated incident; a recent FBI report shows that hate crimes are on the rise nationwide. Many believe there is an obvious link to the racist rhetoric and anti-Black, xenophobic policies advanced by the Trump Administration.

No arrests have been made in the brutal assault, but actors, directors, screenwriters, politicians, and fans have come out in droves condemning the attack. With Call Out Hate, more than a dozen celebrities send their support and solidarity to Smollett and speak out about what it’s like to live at the intersection of hate and homophobia.

Soon after the incident, Color Of Change tweeted the attack was, "A reminder of the real violence Black LGBTQ ppl face every day & the hate this administration continues to embolden.” They added, “Our support + love go out to #JussieSmollet."


Rashad Robinson, President at Color Of Change:

“For an attack like this to happen to Jussie Smollett, one of the most prominent Black, LGBTQ figures in the country, is a frightening reminder that we live in a country with a deep history of white supremacy and homophobia.

As we wait for law enforcement to track down the perpetrators of this heinous crime, we won’t wait in silence. We are raising our voices in unity to say with one, clear voice: we reject hate.

Color Of Change, backed by our 1.4 million members and alongside our allies, will not stop fighting for justice and to change the hostile environment for all Black people.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO:

“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.”

According to the FBI Hate Crime Statistics, hate crime reports have steadily increased for the past three year since 2016.

The most recent study from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) reported the deadliest year on record for the LGBTQ community. According to the Anti-Violence Project, the severity of hate violence against LGBTQ people is increasing. 46% of LGBTQ survivors of hate violence sustained an injury in 2017 compared to 31% in 2016, 42% reported seeking medical attention in 2017 compared to 23% in 2016, and 27% reported that weapons were used in 2017 compared to 13% in 2016.


About Color Of Change:

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 1.4 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit