Empire star Jussie Smollett has been hospitalised after a racist, homophobic physical attack by two men.

TMZ reports the 35-year-old actor was walking in Chicago around 2AM local time on Tuesday when he was approached by two white men wearing ski masks.

Details given to the police of the incident, which is being treated as a hate crime, are horrific. The attackers put a noose around his neck, poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him and screamed racist and homophobic slurs at the actor.

They also yelled “This is MAGA country,” referring to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’.

EMPIRE: L-R: Jussie Smollett and A.Z. Kelsey in the “Pride” episode of EMPIRE airing Wednesday, Oct. 10 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)

In a disturbing development after the news broke, it was revealed Fox, the network which airs Empire, received death threats addressed to Smollett a week ago.

TMZ reports the Empire cast and crew will have additional security as they continue to film in Chicago. The show’s creator Lee Daniels, Smollett’s co-stars and many other stars tweeted their support for the actor after the news of the attack broke.


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We got this @jussiesmollett 🌈👊🏾👊🏾

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The attackers are yet to be caught. Chicago Police are gathering surveillance camera footage and other evidence.