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ET has learned that Jussie Smollett and the rest of the Empire cast will have armed security as production of the show continues.
Smollett was hospitalized on Tuesday morning, after he suffered a horrific homophobic and racist attack. ET has learned that there was an emotional meeting held Tuesday morning to inform production of what happened to Smollett, when a producer addressed production.
Production on Empire is not shut down and is ongoing. Additionally, ET has learned that the situation is currently very fluid regarding when Smollett will continue filming and that Fox has stepped up security for members of production after a threatening letter was received.
ET has also learned that FOX provided counselors to the cast and crew of Empire to talk about the incident with Smollett and to answer any questions.
"The counselors will be there for as long as the cast and crew needs," a source tells ET. "Everyone processes trauma differently and the network understands that. The pace of filming will be based on how everyone feels, and the network and people involved want to do whatever they can to make the cast and crew feel safe and supported."
TMZwas first to report the news regarding the added security.
ThatGrapeJuice.Net, who was first to report the news of Smollett's attack, published an alleged note the 35-year-old received prior to the incident on Tuesday, which threatens him and contains a homophobic slur.
"Jussie was walking when two guys started yelling racial and homophobic slurs at the Empire star," the source says. "Jussie was then attacked by the men and was repeatedly hit. Jussie tried to protect himself and at one point the men poured a substance on him believed to be bleach and one of the guys put a rope around his neck. After some time the men fled the scene and Jussie went to the hospital. Jussie is mostly physically OK with some scrapes and bruises, but he’s more emotionally shook up.”
Meanwhile, according to police, Smollett was self-transported to Northwestern Hospital following the attack and is in good condition. The Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told ET in a statement that an investigation is currently underway, and they're "treating it as a possible hate crime."
"Overnight, the Chicago Police Department received a report of a possible racially-charged assault and battery involving a cast member of the television show Empire," the statement reads. "Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime. Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline. The victim is fully cooperating with investigators and we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com."
GLAAD has also spoken out in a statement to ET in support of Smollett.
“Our hearts are with Jussie Smollett as he recovers from a hate-motivated and repugnant attack in Chicago," the statement reads. "Jussie has always used his voice and talent to create a better world, and it is disgusting that anyone, especially someone who has done such good for so many, would be targeted by undeniable hatred."
"GLAAD condemns these despicable acts as well as the racism and homophobia that drove them," the statement continues. "Law enforcement needs to urgently conduct a thorough investigation and continue to be transparent with Chicago’s Black and LGBTQ communities who may be experiencing heightened fears of violence. Jussie’s experience is sadly not unique in today’s America. Countless LGBTQ and people of color, as well as those who belong to both communities, are faced with hate-motivated violence on a near daily basis. We stand with Black and racial justice leaders to combat hate violence in all of its forms.”
"I try my best not to receive labels because I feel like those things are created for no good reason at all except to box somebody in," he said. "You know, I love the label of black man. I love that! I love the label of human being. I love the label of lover, you know what I'm saying. I'm just a lover of life. I lead with love."