According to Variety “Empire” star Jussie Smollett was hospitalized early Tuesday following an assault in Chicago due to a possible hate crime. The Chicago Police Department released a statement saying Smollett was beaten by two men who approached him yelling out “racial and homophobic slurs” at approximately 2 a.m. Tuesday morning in the 300 block of E. North Water Street. They proceeded to assault Smollett and “poured an unknown chemical substance” on him. It is also reported that the two men put a rope around Smollett’s neck before fleeing the scene on foot.
“We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our ‘Empire’ family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night,”
20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said in a statement.
“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.”
GLAAD also released a statement regarding the incident saying:
“GLAAD reached out to Fox and Jussie’s team today to offer assistance as well as support for him. Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world.”
Jussie’s character Jamal Lyon on “Empire” announced himself as gay in the first season of Empire while Jussie himself announced his orientation during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in 2015.