The Empire star, Jussie Smollett, was physically assaulted in Chicago, and he ended up being hospitalized, in what is being described as a racially motivated and homophobic attack.
According to TMZ, Smollett was approached by two white men in ski masks late Monday on his way home after getting food. He was subsequently subjected to homophobic and racial slurs with one of them shouting: “Aren’t you that f****t ‘Empire’ n**er?“. This was followed with a brutal attack coupled with the pouring of an unknown chemical substance on him and then tying a rope around his neck connoting a noose.
Smollet managed to go to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was treated and discharged on Tuesday, TMZ reported.
The Chicago Police Department released a statement confirming the assault as well as investigation proceedings. They also confirmed they are treating the case as a possible hate crime.
Chicago Police Department just sent out this statement re:
Jussie Smollett pic.twitter.com/DxQswZn8xd
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 29, 2019
Scores of popular African Americans artists and activists have come out to condemn the attack as well as voice support for Smollett.
Notable among them include Rev. Al Sharpton, Bernice King, U.S. presidential hopeful Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, among others.
Take a look at what they had to say below:
The reported hate attack on my friend and brother, actor Jussie Smollett is despicable and outrageous. The guilty must face the maximum.
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) January 29, 2019
I am praying for @JussieSmollett.
I am praying for America.
I am praying that we all embrace the truth that love is power; and that hate, in all of its manifestations, is perverse.
I am committed to building a more peaceful, just, and humane world.
Only love. Only light. pic.twitter.com/doUMd5BvOV
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) January 30, 2019
.@JussieSmollett is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery.
This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019
The vicious attack on actor Jussie Smollett was an attempted modern-day lynching. I'm glad he's safe.
To those in Congress who don't feel the urgency to pass our Anti-Lynching bill designating lynching as a federal hate crime– I urge you to pay attention. https://t.co/EwXFxl5f2m
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 29, 2019
DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 29, 2019
OMG!! THIS is why the LGBTQ community continue to fight to be seen and PROTECTED against hate!
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 29, 2019
I'm just now hearing the news about the senseless hate attack on my #EMPiRE Nephew @JussieSmollett IM SO ANGRY AND HURT ABOUT THIS! THIS MUST STOP!! SPREAD LOVE NOT HATE! PRAYERS UP TO U NEPHEW! 😢😢🙇🏾♀️🙇🏾♀️ pic.twitter.com/p4GqfNW3An
— Vivica A. Fox (@MsVivicaFox) January 29, 2019