The Chicago Police Department is investigating a possible hate crime against Empire star Jussie Smollett. Smollett had just returned to Chicago from New York, TMZ reports, when he was out grabbing a quick bite to eat from Subway around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The actor was accosted by two men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him. The men reportedly called Smollett “that f-ggot Empire n—er” before beating him and and tying a rope around his neck. A statement from the Chicago Police Department also noted that the men “poured an unknown chemical substance” on Smollett. The men also allegedly told Smollett, “This is MAGA country.” After the violence incident, the actor was able to get himself to a local hospital, where he is reportedly in good condition. Smollett’s peers and fans, including his Empire co-stars Vivica A. Fox and Mario, immediately sent words of encouragement to the actor as he recovers from the harrowing incident. The Chicago Police Department issued a statement Tuesday asking for the public’s help to identify the men who attacked Smollett by calling tip line, 312-747-8382 or visit