A speculated racist and homophobic attack occurred earlier Tuesday morning in Chicago, Illinois. The victim of this heinous crime was openly-gay, African American male, Empire star, Jussie Smollett. The violent crime began with two men shouting “racial and homophobic slurs” at the 36-year-old actor as he was walking outside.
The alleged hate crime turned from verbally hurtful to physically shocking as the two perpetrators attacked the actor and then proceeded to “pour an unknown chemical substance” on Smollett while constraining him with a noose around his neck. With these utterly jarring details, Chicago PD is investigating this crime as a potential racially charged one while Jussie Smollett was safely transported to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Many of Smollett’s costars on Fox’s Empire made several statements about the occurrence that happened around 2 am eastern time. Creator and Director of the show, Lee Daniels released an extremely heartfelt message.
The award-winning filmmaker reached out to Smollett via Instagram explaining how “(he is) better than that. We are, America is better than that.” Executive producer, Danny Strong of the hit series tweeted, “I’m deeply horrified and saddened by the racist and homophobic attacks against @JussieSmollett. He is a kind and profoundly talented soul whom I respect with all my heart.”
Twentieth Century Fox Television also issued a statement about the crimes against Smollett. “We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our Empire family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night.” These sympathetic statements are necessary in times of discriminatory acts and as a country, these moments are when citizens need to unite most as several gay-rights advocates spoke up publicly about the attack as well.
The investigation is currently underway as police spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi says, “given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime.” The public will have to patiently wait for the investigative results of this horrific crime and will have to hope for justice in every sense of the word.