'Hate Based Terrorism': NAACP Condemns Attack on Santa Rosa's Jussie Smollett

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Actor Jussie Smollett visits the SiriusXM Studios in New York City.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Update Jan. 30:  The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) released a statement calling the attack on Smollett an act of "hate-based terrorism."

Update Jan. 29: TMZ confirmed Smollett received treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and has since been discharged. 

Update Feb. 20: Jussie Smollett has been arrested on charges of filing a false police report. 

Empire cast member Jussie Smollett suffered injuries in Chicago around 2am Tuesday morning in a possible hate crime. The 35-year-old Santa Rosa-born actor and singer is best known for his role as Jamal Lyon in the hit Fox drama, and critics have hailed his performance as "groundbreaking" for his positive and nuanced depiction of a black gay man on television.

The Chicago Police Department is calling the incident a possible "racially-charged assault and battery." A statement released early Tuesday outlines the attack. The two perpetrators reportedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs at Smollett and wrapped a rope around his neck.


TMZ reports that the attackers also yelled, "This is MAGA country."

Fellow celebrities and friends have shared their thoughts and wishes  on social media for the Empire star's recovery.

Even Kamala Harris shared her thoughts: "This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin."

On Wednesday, Jan. 30, the NAACP released a statement calling the attack on Smollett an act of "hate-based terrorism."

“The recent racist and homophobic attack on acclaimed actor and activist Jussie Smollett is troubling. The rise in hate crimes is directly linked to President Donald J. Trump’s racist and xenophobic rhetoric. It is dangerous for any society to allow a tone of divisiveness and hatred to dominate the political discourse. As this rhetoric continues to bleed into our everyday lives, dangerous behavior will continue to place many law-abiding individuals at risk. We pray for a full physical and mental recovery Jussie Smollett and many unnamed victims of this forum of hate based terrorism.”

— Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO

While the Chicago police have confirmed the attack on an Empire cast member, they have not yet released his name.

This story is developing and will be updated.