On Jan. 29, Singer and Empire star, Jussie Smollett claimed that he was assaulted by two men outside of a fast food restaurant.
Smollett stated he walked out of a McDonald’s and was returning to his apartment. Shortly after, Smollet claimed that he was called racial and homophobic slurs by two men in ski masks, before physically attacking him as well.
While being beaten, the Empire star stated that the men poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him. He says the chemical they poured on him stained the clothes he was wearing the day he was attacked. Jussie says one of the attackers shouted, “This is MAGA country!” repeatedly as they left.
African American figures and Empire fans have found out rather quickly about Smollett’s attack, tweeting about how the incident was an attempted ‘modern day’ lynching, and a racially-motivated homophobic assault stated by California Senator, Kamala Harris, and Journalist, Ernest Owens.
Weeks later, news surfaced that Smollett staged the attack, calling his attack fake. The rumor also states that Smollett paid his attackers as well. When celebrities and media found out, they were infuriated. Smollett’s ‘orchestrated attack’ offended many politicians on Capitol Hill, both Republicans and Democrats alike.
“I think that Jussie [Smollett] wanted attention and he found a (not so good) way to get it. He used the ‘attack’ as leverage to make people believe a gay black man would be attacked just for being african american and gay,” sophomore Elizabeth Earhart.
Police brutality and hate crimes target African Americans than any other race in America. According to Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program for the FBI, 59.6% of hate crime victims were against race, 48.6% of victims were black, gradually decreasing by 7% over 3 years in mid-2018.
Smollett was accused of faking the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” stated by Eddie Johnson, a Chicago Police Superintendent. Currently, Jussie Smollett both charged each actor $3.5k thinking the attack would blow over. Instead, Chicago police department took action rather quickly.