Chicago Police Department (CPD) representatives told The Hollywood Reporter that two men yelled racist and homophobic slurs at Smollett as he exited a Subway restaurant early yesterday morning (January 29). The pair then physically attacked him, pouring an unidentified chemical solution on him and placing a noose around his neck. Smollett transported himself to a local hospital, from which he has since been released. The department also confirmed to THR that Smollett said the attackers yelled “MAGA country!” and other references to President Donald Trump’s signature slogan, Make America Great Again, during the attack.
CPD communications officer Anthony Gugliemi tweeted yesterday that the department is “treating [the assault] as a possible hate crime.” ABC News reported today (January 30) that the FBI will assist the CPD in the investigation.
Beyond his singing and acting, Smollett is an outspoken supporter of social justice causes, especially for the Black and LGBTQ communities with which he identifies. Advocacy organizations representing those groups and many celebrities and organizers have issued statements of support and calls for justice, turning #JusticeForJussie into a trending topic.
The vicious, racist and homophobic attack against @JussieSmollett is a reminder of the real violence Black LGBTQ ppl face everyday & the hate this administration continues to embolden. Our support + love go out to #JussieSmollet as he continues to recover https://t.co/YPfO0sZ6dQ
— ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) January 29, 2019
— GLAAD (@glaad) January 29, 2019
— Empire (@EmpireFOX) January 29, 2019
Jussie serves on the Board of The Black Aids Foundation, https://t.co/s2dOhK7GXW
We’re asking people to make donations in his honor as opposed to sending flowers. https://t.co/9M8LkisHGu
— Sankofa.org (@Sankofa) January 29, 2019