Empire star Jussie Smollett is hospitalized after a brutal beating in urban Chicago that authorities are calling a "hate crime". Sources are also reporting that Smollett received the following threatening letter through Fox Chicago:

Source: thatgrapejuice.net.

 Mr. Smollett suffered a severe "racially charged assault and battery", Chicago Police said in a tweet. See their full statement below.

According to the police, around 2:00 AM Tuesday, two men approached Smollett as he was walking the 300 block of Lower Water Street in the Windy City, and began yelling homophobic and racist slurs. They then hit him an unknown number of times and poured an unknown substance over him before tying a rope around his neck and fleeing the scene.

A few sources alleged the perpetrators yelled "this is MAGA country" and were identified by Smollett as white, but other sources are denying this. The investigation on that end is on-going: we will update as we receive more verified info.

Smollett is reported to be in "good condition" at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as of this writing. Empire creator Lee Daniels released and deleted this picture of Smollett from his social media.

Source: TMZ

Smollett plays gay musician Jamal Lyon on Fox's show; he told Ellen DeGeneres in 2015 that he also self-identifies as gay. Fox for their part released the following statement regarding the attack, "We will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice. The entire studio, network and production stands united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own." The show is moving forward with production amidst beefed-up security.

Stay tuned for more on this as it develops.