The investigation is still ongoing concerning the homophobic and racist attack on Jussie Smollett on Jan. 29. The FBI is reportedly working closely with cast and crew on the set of “Empire,” specifically to track down who sent Smollett a death threat before the attack, according to TMZ.
“Sources on set tell us a private security company was hired by the show and met with FBI agents to establish a protocol for inspecting all incoming mail,” TMZ reported. “We’re told the team wears gloves so the evidence in question is not contaminated.” The security team is there “to flag threatening, incoming mail and alert the FBI, and to possibly link new items to the letter Jussie already received, containing homophobic and racists epithets along with an image of a noose.”
“Empire” has consistently received racist and homophobic hate mail, but now everyone is on high alert and the FBI is screening all incoming mail.
On Jan. 29, while walking to a Subway in Chicago, two men reportedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs at the actor after he exited a restaurant, investigators told The Hollywood Reporter. They allegedly punched and poured bleach on him while one of the suspects put a rope around his neck. As they fled the scene, Smollett told police they said, “This is MAGA country.”
Nine days before, threatening letters were directed at Smollett, reportedly sent to Fox Studios in Chicago. The cutout letters said, “You will die black f**.” See below:
On Feb. 2, the 35-year-old performed for the first time since the attack in Los Angeles. He cleared up some rumors that had been circulating in the media, “I was bruised but my ribs were not cracked. They were not broken. I went to the director immediately. I was not hospitalized. Both my doctors in L.A. and Chicago cleared me to perform but said to take care, obviously and, above all, I fought the f*ck back.” The crowd cheered as Jussie paused and then added, “I’m the gay 2pac,” according to the BBC.
He also said, “I’m not fully healed yet but I’m going to and I’m going to stand strong with y’all. I had to be here tonight. I couldn’t let those motherf***ers win! I will always stand for love. Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love.”
He continued, “Be as Black, be as proud, be as gay… Now is the time. Be Blacker, be gayer!” See the clip below:
Hopefully, the attackers will be found.