In case you hadn’t heard, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett was allegedly the victim of a possible hate crime in Chicago:

More from TMZ:

Empire” star Jussie Smollett was brutally attacked by 2 men who beat him up, put his head in a noose and screamed, “This is MAGA country.”

Sources directly connected to Jussie tell TMZ, the actor arrived in Chicago from New York late Monday, and at around 2 AM he was hungry and went to a Subway. We’re told when he walked out, someone yelled, “Aren’t you that f***ot ‘Empire’ n*****?”

The 2 men — both white and wearing ski masks — viciously attacked Jussie as he fought back, but they beat him badly and fractured a rib. They put a rope around his neck, poured bleach on him and as they left they yelled, “This is MAGA country.”

The Chicago PD has also released a statement:

Not surprisingly, a lot of people are outraged over this alleged hate crime, viewing it as yet more evidence of the bigotry inherent in Trump supporters.

This certainly sounds like a horrific attack, and we hope Smollett recovers swiftly and fully from his injuries.

All that being said, though, it’s hard to ignore that some of the facts just don’t add up.

Skepticism is understandable. We’ve seen it too many times: The narrative surrounding a “hate crime” perpetrated by Trump supporters turns out to be a false one.

One thing’s for sure: This story’s not over yet. You’ll definitely want to stay tuned.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional tweets.



Worth noting:


More from Reason:

“According to the victim, the offenders’ faces were concealed,” a police spokesperson told Reason. “We have no record indicating that [they shouted ‘MAGA’], we only have record of them shouting racial and homophobic slurs at him.”

Chicago police have also released a statement contradicting claims that Smollett identified his attackers’ race and heard them shout “MAGA.”

“We have no record of The MAGA Country comment,” said the police in a statement. “We have racial and homophobic comments documented.”