According to the Chicago Police Department, Smollett was self-transported to Northwestern Hospital and is now in good condition. According to the incident details of the assault, the victim was walking when two unknown offenders approached him and gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him. Police say the offenders allegedly began to attack the victim with their hands about the face and poured an unknown chemical substance onto him. The offenders then allegedly wrapped a rope around his neck before fleeing the scene.
In a statement to ET, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said they were "saddened and outraged" at the attack.
“We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our EMPIRE family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night," the statement reads. "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 President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis added in a statement: “Our hearts are with Jussie Smollett as he recovers from a hate-motivated and repugnant attack in Chicago. 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. 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," Ellis' statement continued. "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."
Since the news, a number of Smollett's Empire colleagues and more celebs have spoken out. Empire co-creator, executive producer and writer Danny Strong 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. The terror of racism and homophobia has no place in our society, it is the most indecent way to live......whoever did this, do not forget that you are nothing but hate filled cowards while Jussie’s talent and activism will continue to shine a bright light on to the world for decades to come."
Meanwhile, Vivica A. Fox -- who plays Candace on Empire -- tweeted, "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!"
No matter what's happening around us, @JussieSmollett is ALWAYS quick w/ a massive smile & hug. Thats the kind of man he is. The homophobic, racist hate crime against him & hate crimes against countless others cannot stand. Rebuke hatred any & every time it rears its ugly head.
1/3 - I’ve known Jussie since he was 10 years old, and a man of @JussieSmollett’s talent, intellect and kindness should be an undisputed blessing to our community. My heart is hurting knowing that he’s suffering...and for what? Just for being?
2/3 - The fact his presence on this earth would be perceived as a threat to anyone only shows the magnitude of their fear and confusion. I pray that our country learns to heal, that we may see each other for WHO we are and nothing more. We gotta find the LOVE yawl!
This is a sickening and outrageous attack, and horribly, it's the latest of too many hate crimes against LGBTQ people and people of color. We are all responsible for condemning this behavior and every person who enables or normalizes it. Praying for Jussie and his family. https://t.co/eylvxhLT0u