‘Empire’ Actor Attacked 😔

John Salangsang / Invision / AP

John Salangsang / Invision / AP

Possible hate crime

Jussie Smollett, star of Fox’s ‘Empire,’ who identifies as gay and black, was assaulted early Tuesday morning in downtown Chicago. Smollett’s attackers approached him while yelling racial and homophobic slurs and physically attacked him. He is now reported to be in “good condition.”

D.C. and Hollywood react

An outpouring of support for Smollett emerged from members of Congress and fellow celebrities. ‘Empire’ co-creator Lee Daniels posted an emotional response, concluding, “You didn't deserve, nor anyone deserves, to have a noose put around your neck… We are better than that. America is better than that."


LEANING LEFT:

Slate: Empire Star Jussie Smollett hospitalized after apparent hate attack

GQ: The racist, homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett is far-right America’s endgame


The left 
condemns the attack as a probable hate crime, contextualizing it as an example of endemic prejudice and bigotry against LGBTQ people, particularly people of color, in the US. This side emphasizes Smollett’s role as an LGBTQ advocate and reports details of a death threat he’d recently received.

LEANING RIGHT:

The Blaze: Media outlets say actor was beaten in Chicago by attackers who yelled, 'This is MAGA country!' But cops aren't saying that.

Breitbart: NAACP blames President Donald Trump for alleged racist, homophobic attack on actor Jussie Smollett

The right focuses on the left-leaning media’s fast response to Smollett’s attack. After offering information about the attack and Smollett’s biography, these articles question some of the incident’s details, particularly TMZ’s report that the attackers shouted, “This is MAGA country.”


Fact-checking hate

Though it may be unconfirmed whether Smollett’s attackers referenced “MAGA,” it’s undeniable that hate crimes targeting racial, sexual, and religious minorities are on the rise in the US. An FBI report from November 2018 documented a 17% increase from the previous year — more than half were racially motivated.

Really hope this is true

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