"Don [Lemon] is on this week, and with the whole Jussie Smollett situation that has occurred, my mother and Willow and I were very interested in the experience of being openly gay, black and male in America," she explained. "That's a very short list, and the only person I could think of to bring to the table to talk about that experience is Don."
A source previously told ET that Smollett was walking around Chicago early last Tuesday morning when two men started yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him, before repeatedly hitting him. The men then poured a substance on him (believed to be bleach), according to the source, and one of the attackers put a rope around his neck.
'Empire' Co-Creator Danny Strong Says Jussie Smollett Will Continue to be a 'Symbol of Strength' (Exclusive)
Smollett released a statement on the situation last Friday, and on Saturday, he appeared on stage at his West Hollywood show at The Troubadour, telling fans that he was going to "stand strong." ET learned on Wednesday that Smollett was back to work on the Empire set this week. Security has been present and is of importance to everyone. ET has also learned that Smollett is healing well following the attack.
Additionally, in the redacted police report obtained by ET through a FOIA request on Wednesday, it states that Smollett was initially hesitant to report the attack. It also includes details of the actor's description of the alleged attacker's clothing, and that he allegedly received hate mail at his place of work on Jan. 22.
Pinkett Smith told ET that Lemon, a CNN news anchor who came out as gay in his 2011 memoir, had great commentary on Smollett's attack.
"Don came with so much wisdom and so much information, and he really enlightened me about what the experience is like and in a way that I really didn't get or understand before I talked to Don," she said.
"I hope people who have family members or have children, families that are struggling with figuring out how to deal with a child that's openly gay, or people who are trying to figure out how to talk about it, will watch the show," Pinkett Smith shared.