A worldwide flood of outrage and support for Jussie Smollett has taken over social media. One may know Smollett from his role as “Jamal Lyons” off the famous Fox drama Empire. This out pour of support aroused after Smollett was attacked in his home on January 29th, by two men; investigators have reason to believe that Smollett is victim of a hate crime.
On Monday, January 29th police were called with a statement that Smollett had been attacked at his home in Chicago. According to police, Smollett had gotten jumped around 2am by two men, at this time police have not identified who these men are. Smollett told police that both men were wearing blacking clothing and one of the men were wearing a black mask. The police reported that the weapons used on Smollett were “hands, feet, and teeth”, after that, the attackers poured a unknown substance, a substance that investigators suspect to be bleach, on top of him. At some point of the attack, one of the attackers tied a rope around his neck and also they said racial and homophobic slurs. The attackers were also shouting “MAGA (Make America Great Again) Country”. When police came to his house, Smollett had on a stained shirt and had a white rope draped around his neck.
To make matters worse, Smollett didn’t even want to call the police after his attack. Another individual had called in the attack, and according to police spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, the person that called in the attack was Smollett’s manager. Reason for why Smollett didn’t want to call in the attack is unknown for the moment; police did say that Smollett’s manager asked that police turn off all their body cameras.
Police reported that Smollett’s injures were only bruises, but he still went to the hospital after police found him. Days later, Smollett released a statement to NBC News ensuring people that he was okay and thanking everybody for all the love and support during this time. “Let me start by saying that I’m OK. My body is strong but my soul is stronger. More importantly I want to say thank you. The outpouring of love and support from my village has meant more than I will ever be able to truly put into words." Donald Trump also made a statement addressing the attack, “That I can tell you is horrible. It doesn’t get worst…” (so much for a statement right?). Smollett’s family is saying that he was a victim to a “racist and homophobic hate crime”; “We want people to understand these targeted hate crimes are happening to our sisters, brothers and our gender non-conforming siblings, many who reside within the intersection of multiple identities, on a monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily basis all across our country...”. Several of Smollett’s cast members have put encouraging words on social media, along with other celebs.
Smollett told the world on The Ellen DeGeneres Show back in 2015 that he was a gay, and it just so happens that his character on Empire is gay as well. When asked about “being in the closet”, Smollett replied by saying “There is no closet, there’s never been a closet that I’ve been in.” Along with being a actor Smollett is also a musician and a activist of LBGTQ issues. Though this horrific chain of events happen, Smollett pushes on. He just performed on Saturday, February 2nd at West Hollywood’s Troubador Club.