Taraji P. Henson on Co-Star Jussie Smollett’s Attack: ‘You Can’t Let Hate Win'

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Taraji P. Henson is standing behind her on-screen son, Jussie Smollett, following the racist and homophobic attack against him last week. 

ET caught up with Henson at a special New York City screening of her new comedy, What Men Want, where she opened up about the days since the attack. 

"He hasn’t been back [on set] yet, but he will be, absolutely,” she said. "We miss him so... You can’t let hate win.”

She also praised her Empire co-star, saying, "At his very core is love, so that’s how he operates and that’s why the tragedy was felt by so many people because of what he represents." 

Over the weekend, Smollett returned to the stage at the Los Angeles venue, The Troubadour to perform and to clarify some of the rumors circulating about him and the attack against him. 

“I’m not fully healed yet, but I’m going to,” he told the crowd. And I’m gonna stand strong with y’all, and I had to be here tonight. It sounds powerful, but I couldn’t let those mother f**kers win.” 

Henson also spoke out on Monday’s Today show, saying, “I just told him, ‘Just walk in your truth, baby, no one can take that.’”

She also spoke to ET on Monday night about the importance of her new film in today’s society. 

"I think people really care about what women have to say no more than ever. And I think it’s just poignant,” she said. "Now with the Time’s Up [movement] and women fighting for equal pay and to be respected in the workplace, that’s exactly what this movie talks about, but in a funny way.”

What Men Want is in theaters Friday, Feb. 8.  

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