Actor Jussie Smollett is reportedly hospitalized after an apparent hate crime.
According to TMZ, two men wearing ski masks attacked the Empire star in Chicago around 2 A.M. The attackers approached the 35-year-old actor, beat him up, yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him and poured bleach on him.
Sources close to Smollett told TMZ that the two white males viscously attacked Smollett as he was leaving a Subway restaurant. One of the men allegedly yelled, “Aren’t you that f—ot Empire ni—r?”
TMZ reports that the two men beat him, wrapped a rope around his neck in the form of a noose and poured bleach on him. Before leaving the scene one of the men yelled, “This is MAGA country!”
TMZ confirms that Jussie went to Northwestern Memorial hospital Tuesday morning where here he is receiving treatment.
Official statement from the Chicago Police Department
The Chicago Police Department released a statement about the Jussie Smollett attack.
Chicago Police Department just sent out this statement re:
Jussie Smollett pic.twitter.com/DxQswZn8xd
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 29, 2019
Prior to the brutal attack, Smollett received a threatening and racist letter in the mail with “You will die black fag” in cutout letters. In the disturbing piece of hate mail, there is also an illustration of what appears to be a person hanging from a tree with a gun pointed in his direction.
You will die black fag”
Okay, I’m ready to fight. pic.twitter.com/h42Px47lvW
— ℝ??? ℍ??? ℚ??? (@Homiekage) January 29, 2019
The Chicago Police Department is investigating the incident.
Twitter reacts to Jussie Smollett attack
I am so sorry to hear what happened to @JussieSmollett. It’s unacceptable. I hope he knows how many people are thinking of him and committed to holding this administration and its ilk accountable for this hothouse of hate being fostered.
— roxane gay (@rgay) January 29, 2019
DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 29, 2019
Jesus. This is awful. It appears that Empire’s @JussieSmollett was the victim of a hate crime — with the alleged attackers focusing both on his race and his sexual orientation. He got to the hospital on his own, though, and is in good condition, per the police statement. https://t.co/Ui6jRFE3rW
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) January 29, 2019
…whoever did this, do not forget that you are nothing but hate filled cowards while Jussie’s talent and activism will continue to shine a bright light on to the world for decades to come.
— Danny Strong (@Dannystrong) January 29, 2019
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) January 29, 2019
.@JussieSmollett is one of the fiercest people I know. This hatred won’t stop his championing for a better world. If anything, it will probably motivate him more. It has me.
— Jackée Harry (@JackeeHarry) January 29, 2019
I woke up this morning to the news that Jussie Smollett, was attacked in what investigators believe to be a hate crime, specifically against his sexuality and I am devastated! Queer people of color, especially trans people of color, fear for their lives daily!
— Kalen Allen (@TheKalenAllen) January 29, 2019
When you’re Black and Gay and people deny that being openly gay is as risky as being Black, peep this
This is fucked up
‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Hospitalized After Homophobic Attack https://t.co/MPLsKaRh9Z via @TMZ
— And I say that humbly (@FeministaJones) January 29, 2019
Now a whole new generation of black folks are traumatized by nooses, the resurgence of a specific, public racism. One thing to be triggered by image of a noose, another to manage the trauma of having your neck in one. Jussie Smollett didn’t deserve this. None of us deserve this.
— Rebecca Shuri She Ready Carroll (@rebel19) January 29, 2019
Lena Waithe responds to Jussie Smollett attack
Actress, screnwriter and producer Lena Waithe took to Instagram after hearing the news about Jussie Smollett.
What happened to Jussie Smollett? What we know so far
— Jussie Smollett was leaving a Subway sandwich shop in Chicago around 2 A.M.
— Smollett was approached by two men who were yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him.
— The attackers battered him with their hands and poured a chemical substance on him, according to the Chicago Police Department. TMZ reports the chemical substance was bleach. One of the attackers put a rope around Smollett’s neck. The two men fled after the attack.
— Smollett brought himself to the hospital for treatment.
— According to the police statement, detectives are working to retrieve video from the scene and identify witnesses. An investigation is in progress.
Fox issues statement on Jussie Smollett
Fox issued a statement about TMZ Tuesday afternoon.
“We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night. We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”
— FOX (@FOXTV) January 29, 2019