Ellen DeGeneres Accused of Plugging Show in Tweet About Jussie Smollett

Ellen DeGeneres' message of support for Empire star Jussie Smollett is being met with backlash.

On Tuesday, just hours after news broke that Smollett had been attacked in Chicago, DeGeneres took to Twitter to join the round of celebrities and fans speaking out about the attack.

"Four years ago, @JussieSmollett came out on my show," DeGeneres wrote, referencing Smollett's 2015 appearance in which he confirmed his sexuality. "I'm sending him and his family so much love today."

Tweeted at 5:30 p.m., the talk show host's message was not only criticized for the late response, but also for DeGeneres' failure to speak out about the nature of the crime, which is currently being investigated "as a possible hate crime" due to its racist and homophobic nature, with many dubbing the message nothing but a plug for her show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

"Maybe something better would have been 'it was a privilege to have personally witnessed Jussie coming out 4 years ago, I'm sorry I ended up redeeming a man that promoted the very language that resulted in Jussie's assault. I failed him, and especially the black lgbtq community,'" one person wrote.

"Really inserting your show here?" another person questioned. "It's just sad. What about the guy who joked about beating his kid if they were gay that you forgave for all of us? Jokes like that make this type of violence possible. You're part of the problem Ellen."

Twitter users also slammed DeGeneres' message as being tone deaf, as it was only weeks ago that she offered Kevin Hart a platform to speak about his Oscars fiasco. Having decided to step down from the gig due to backlash from past homophobic comments, including one statement in 2011 in which he stated he'd physically harm his son if he came out as gay, DeGeneres voiced her support for Hart accepting the gig again.

"And less than four weeks ago, you sat across from Kevin Hart and said "Don't let those people win." But "those people" whom you described as "haters" were queer black people hoping that you'd take the relationship between language and violence more seriously," one person wrote.


That same person later added that he fully expects "the men who attacked Jussie Smollett to score a sit-down interview with Ellen at some point in the next few weeks. Maybe it will be a roundtable discussion with Kevin Hart."

Smollett has not yet spoken out regarding the attack. While no suspects have been apprehended, the Chicago Police Department recently released to photos of persons of interest in the crime.