The assault is suspected to be a hate crime, as Chicago police released a statement saying that Smollett was beaten by two men who were yelling "racial and homophobic slurs" at him. They proceeded to pour "an unknown chemical substance" on the 35-year-old actor and put a rope around his neck before running away.
Chicago Police Department just sent out this statement re:— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 29, 2019
Jussie Smollett pic.twitter.com/DxQswZn8xd
Statement on #ChicagoPolice hate crime investigation. We are taking these allegations very seriously and encourage anyone with information to report anonymously to https://t.co/yYAqzcVIfu pic.twitter.com/DxipALHXaz— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) January 29, 2019
Chicago Police later confirmed that the attackers yelled, "MAGA country," implicating them as supporters of Donald Trump.
MORE: Chicago PD says detectives did a follow-up, supplemental interview with Jussie Smollett, where he did in fact tell police his attackers yelled "MAGA country."— Rob Elgas (@RobElgasABC7) January 29, 2019
Smollett got himself to a local hospital and has since been described as in "good condition."
According to TMZ, the actor had arrived in Chicago late after a delayed flight, and he was out getting food when the attack happened at approximately 2 a.m. local time Tuesday morning.
Smollett's character on Empire, Jamal Lyon, came out as gay in the first season of the show. Smollett himself came out as gay in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in 2015.
GLAAD has issued a statement in support of Smollett since news of the attack broke. It reads: "GLAAD reached out to Fox and Jussie's team today to offer assistance as well as support for him. Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world."
See some other messages of support from public figures.
DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 29, 2019
Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice.— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 29, 2019
Thinking of Jussie. Saddened. Heartbroken. Angry. ALL of it. Wouldn't matter that he is the kindest soul. But he IS the kindest soul. And this is FUCKED. This is what all that hateful mongering has wrought. Are you PROUD???— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) January 29, 2019
We must protect Jussie at all costs https://t.co/VJ1jEsxijk— Treshelle (@TreshelleEdmond) January 29, 2019
I don't wanna retweet that Jussie Smollett article but I will say don't ever tell people in a marginalized group ever to be quiet or stop complaining because we always have to be on the defensive, and when we're silent things like this happen. Donate to a LBGTQIA/Black org today.— Yassir Lester (@Yassir_Lester) January 29, 2019
what happened to jussie makes me really fucking sick to my stomach. i can't believe shit like this is really still happening everyday. what kind of world ? sending all of the healing energy / love i possibly can and hoping for change. what can we do ? tell me & i'm there.— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) January 29, 2019
The hate crime that happened today is an attack on us all. Queer people of color need allies, queer people need allies. Kevin Hart so quiet right now. Where are the allies Ellen? Maga hat wearing people need to be checked - we gotta WAKE UP people, it's going down.— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) January 30, 2019
WE LOVE YOU, @JussieSmollett ! ! !— Janet Mock (@janetmock) January 29, 2019
My heart breaks for Jussie. The hatred this country revels in is sickening.— Ira (@ira) January 29, 2019
I am waiting for any outlet, ANY outlet to drop the word "possible" and use the word "racists". My heart goes out to @JussieSmollett tonight and I wish him both a quick recovery and justice for this hate crime.— Justin Guarini (@JustinGuarini) January 29, 2019
it's devastating that this would happen to such a kind soul..there is absolutely no room for hate. we love you @JussieSmollett 🙏🏽❤️ sending love x prayers up— chloe x halle (@chloexhalle) January 29, 2019
OMG!! THIS is why the LGBTQ community continue to fight to be seen and PROTECTED against hate!— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 29, 2019
We ALL have to take this racist and homophobic act of violence very personally! My arms are around you @jussiesmollett. You are loved! https://t.co/bprDZ3Luah
I want justice for this wonderful man, #JussieSmollet , and his attackers to face the full extent of the law under a blatant hate crime.— AWKWAFINA (@awkwafina) January 30, 2019
A culture of violence lies at the core of homophobia & racism , and at every level. We must never forget that
My heart is with you, Jussie. pic.twitter.com/LaLtsjOkNy
If the attack on Jussie Smollett was "potentially" a racist, homophobic hate crime there is a slight chance of blowjobs on pornhub— tanya tagaq (@tagaq) January 30, 2019
What happened to Jussie has me feeling so upset. I dont want to believe that we still live in a world where attacks like this can happen. Jussie, I don't know you, but I love you. The men that attached him are disgusting. They are monsters.— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) January 30, 2019
Jussie Smollett,'Empire' Actor, Reportedly Attacked In Possible Hate Crime.NPR. VILLAINY, RACISM,HOMOPHOBIA, PROMOTED BY MOST INFAMOUS 🤡IN 🌎,IS THE POISON THAT KILLS🇺🇸.WHITE ONLY IS NOT RIGHT.🇺🇸 IS PPL OF COLOR.🙏🏻GOP GOES DOWN WITH SHIP djt— Cher (@cher) January 30, 2019
The racist, homophobic attack on @JussieSmollett is an affront to our humanity. No one should be attacked for who they are or whom they love. I pray that Jussie has a speedy recovery & that justice is served. May we all commit to ending this hate once & for all.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 30, 2019