Howard says Smollett's attackers "have to be forgiven because it was done out of ignorance," but what they did should not be forgotten.
According to TMZ, the actor was beat up by two men around 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning, after he went to get some food at Subway. When he left the restaurant, the assailants reportedly yelled, "Aren't you that f---ot 'Empire' n----?"
The males, who are both said to have been white and wearing ski masks, attacked Smollett, wrapped a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him. The men reportedly yelled "This is MAGA country" as they left the scene.
Speaking to "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, Terrence Howard said he heard Smollett is "getting better," but "angry."
"But I know Jussie. Jussie's anger will dissipate and he will forgive these people for what they did," Howard continued. "But he won't, and we cannot, forget their actions."
"They have to be forgiven because it was done out of ignorance," he went on. "Jussie's the one that starts singing when everybody's in a bad mood. He's the one that cheers everybody up. He's the one that does all the Instagrams if he catches you sleeping. Today, no one was caught sleeping. No one even took time to close their eyes and nap. They were all in shock that our family, you know, the Fox family, the 'Empire' family, the Lyon family, were attacked by a bunch of hyenas today."
Taraji P. Henson, who plays Smollett's mother on "Empire," also spoke out on Wednesday.
"I wish what happened to my baby was just one big bad joke but it wasn't and we all feel his pain right now," she wrote on Instagram. "@jussiesmollett is pure love to the bone AND THAT IS WHY SO MANY ARE FEELING HIS PAIN BECAUSE IT IS OUR PAIN!!! I tell you one thing HATE WILL NOT WIN!!!! My baby is resilient and love still lives in him."
"The devil and his minions are very busy right now but one thing is for sure and two things are for certain #GODIS and that is all I know," she continued. "This song needs to be downloaded until it goes triple platinum because the message is NEEDED. #weareresilientpeople AND #weaintgoingnowhereuntillwearefinished. The love so many have him just goes to show HE IS LOVE!!!! I LOVE YOU MY BABY MY BABY!!! #LOVEWINSALWAYS. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾💋💋💋"
She also shared a clip from Smollett's music video for "F.U.W.," a song he said was "for the oppressed." Watch the full video below.