Actor Jussie Smollett, who is openly gay and plays a gay character on Empire, was reportedly hospitalized after a homophobic and racist attack in the US.
According to TMZ, the actor was walking on his way home at around 2 a.m., when an unknown man yelled at him, “Aren’t you that f*ggot Empire n****?”
While the outlet insisted that the two men who beat him and put a rope around his neck were white MAGA supporters, it is important to note that according to other outlets, police cleared that the race of the perpetrators were not identified, and they “have no record indicating that [they shouted ‘MAGA’], we only have record of them shouting racial and homophobic slurs at him.” Additionally, the men poured “an unknown chemical substance” on him.
Thankfully, Jussie is now confirmed to be in good condition, and has been released from the hospital.
This is horrendous news. And even more alarming is that pop culture website That Grape Juice released a photo online of a letter allegedly sent to Jussie at Fox Studios eight days ago that read in cut-out letters: “You will die black fag.” They claim this is proof that the attack was premeditated.
The attack is currently being investigated as a hate crime, according to USA Today. “While details are still developing, the hate violence Jussie Smollett experienced is reflective of what we see in our national data on hate violence,” the New York City Anti-Violence Project said in a statement. “LGBTQ people living at multiple intersections of oppression, such as racism and homophobia, experience compounded violence.” They further stressed, “Jussie is not alone. Gay Black men are some of the most vulnerable to violence in the LGBTQ community and this must continue to be addressed.”
This is appalling. The fact that extreme hate crimes such as this is still happening today, and openly too, is really disheartening. I have no words. We only hope Jussie and other member of the community will stay strong, and we pray for their safety. Hopefully, the perpetrators will be brought to justice soon.