Jussie Smollett’s L.A. Concert Still on Following Attack as 'Empire' Halts Production Over Severe Weather
Despite his hospitalization after being attacked in an alleged hate crime, Empire star Jussie Smollett’s upcoming concert in Los Angeles is still set to go on as planned.
Smollett was the victim of an apparent homophobic and racist attack in Chicago on Tuesday morning, according to the Chicago Police Department. Smollett was reportedly walking down the street when two men started yelling racial and homophobic slurs at him, before repeatedly hitting him and allegedly putting a noose around his neck.
In spite of the horrifying nature of the incident, the actor and musician is still scheduled to perform live at the famed West Hollywood venue the Troubadour on Saturday. ET reached out to the venue, which confirmed that their calendar — which includes the performance — is current and updated.
Paul Kacik of the concert booking company Sean Healy Presents told The Los Angeles Times that they are “going on with the show as far as we know, until we hear anything different.”
Meanwhile, production on Smollett’s Fox drama Empire has been temporarily shut down, but the halt is not related to the attack. Instead, the show is one of multiple programs filmed in Chicago — including Proven Innocent — that have stopped production due to extreme weather conditions.
ET has learned that FOX provided counselors to the cast and crew of Empire to talk about the incident with Smollett and to answer any questions.
Additionally, ET learned that Smollett and the rest of the cast will have armed security going forward as Fox has stepped up security for members of production after a threatening letter was received.
A source told ET that, during the attack, the actor “tried to protect himself and at one point the men poured a substance on him believed to be bleach and one of the guys put a rope around his neck.”
“After some time the men fled the scene and Jussie went to the hospital,” the source said. “Jussie is mostly physically OK with some scrapes and bruises, but he’s more emotionally shook up.”
According to police, Smollett was self-transported to Northwestern Hospital following the attack and is in good condition. Chicago Police Department spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told ET in a statement that an investigation is currently underway, and they are “treating it as a possible hate crime.”
“Overnight, the Chicago Police Department received a report of a possible racially-charged assault and battery involving a cast member of the television show Empire,” the statement reads. “Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime. Detectives are currently working to gather video, identify potential witnesses and establish an investigative timeline. The victim is fully cooperating with investigators and we ask anyone with information about this incident to contact Area Central Detectives at 312-747-8382 or report it anonymously to www.cpdtip.com.”
On Tuesday evening, Guglielmi announced on Twitter that police have “expanded the search area for cameras to be able to provide photos of the alleged assailants in this attack.”
Guglielmi added that, thus far, “No video of the alleged assailants or a vehicle has been discovered but we are continuing to broaden our search.”
For more on the horrifying attack, watch the video below.
How Jussie Smollett Is Doing Following Homophobic and Racist Attack (Exclusive)