Jussie Smollett Shaken and Angry After Racist, Homophobic Attack
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Support pours in from fellow celebrities and TV writers after the 'Empire' star was assaulted and doused with chemical substance by two men who hurled racial and homophobic slurs at him.

AceShowbiz - Jussie Smollett was a victim of possible hate crime. The actor, who is best known for playing gay singer Jamal Lyon on FOX's drama series "Empire", was attacked in the early morning hours on Tuesday, January 29 in Chicago.

The 36-year-old actor was assaulted by two men who hurled racist and homophobic epithets, poured an unknown chemical substance on him, and tied a noose around his neck. The attackers reportedly yelled out, "This is MAGA country."

Authorities confirm that Smollett took himself to Northwestern Hospital and "is in good condition." The openly gay actor tells CNN he fought back at the assailants during the attack. He was shaken and angry that an attack like this could happen.

Police say in a statement, "Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime." They have checked security cameras around the neighborhood where the incident took place, but so far only found an image of Smollett inside a Subway sandwich shop near the location of the reported crime.

While neither Smollett nor his representative has addressed the incident, a rep for 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment releases a statement to say, "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."

"Empire" creator Lee Daniels, who is also gay, has sent an emotional message via an Instagram video. Calling Smollet his "son," the TV writer says, "You didn't deserve to have a noose put around your neck, to have bleach thrown on you, to be called 'die f****t, n****r,' or whatever they said to you. You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that."

He continues, "We have to love each other regardless of what sexual orientation we are, because it shows that we are united. And no racist f**k can come in and do the things they did to you. Hold your head up, Jussie. I'm with you, I'll be there in a minute. It's just another f**king day in America."

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Fellow actors have also taken Twitter to call for justice. Vivica A. Fox tweets, "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!"

Zendaya Coleman writes, "This is heartbreaking and terrifying...please pay attention to whatโ€™s happening here. Sending all my love to @JussieSmollett."

Gabrielle Union adds, "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."

Halle Berry writes in a series of posts, "My heart is hurting knowing that heโ€™s suffering...and for what? Just for being? The fact his presence on this earth would be perceived as a threat to anyone only shows the magnitude of their fear and confusion." She continues, "I pray that our country learns to heal, that we may see each other for WHO we are and nothing more... Praying endlessly for Jussieโ€™s quick recovery at Northwestern Memorial."

Shonda Rhimes tweets, "We ALL have a responsibility to rise up against the ignorance and hate out there. If you know who did this to @JussieSmollett, REPORT THEM TO THE POLICE."

John Legend also weighs in, "Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice."

GLAAD has additionally reached out to Smollett to offer assistance and support. "Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world," says a GLAAD spokesperson.

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