Jussie Smollett, cast member on Fox drama Empire, was attacked in Chicago in a possible hate crime. He was attacked by two people "yelling out racial and homophobic slurs," according to police. The attackers also wrapped a rope around Smollett’s neck and poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him.
Smollett is African-American. He came out as homosexual in 2015.
He plays Jamal Lyon on Empire.
20th Century Fox Television/Fox Entertainment issued a statement: “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.”
Smollett took himself to the hospital and is said to be in “good condition.”
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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