Empire will be raising the security around its cast members as production continues in Chicago following Jussie Smollet's homophobic and racist attack.
The actor was jumped early Tuesday morning by two men in ski masks who tied a rope around his neck and threw bleach on his face while shouting racist and homophobic slurs at him. After the men got away, Smollett transported himself to the hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and later discharged.
According to Entertainment Tonight, the series held an "emotional" production meeting Tuesday morning to inform the cast and crew of what had happened to the actor.
Production on the series was not suspended after the incident, and the report revealed the situation is "fluid" regarding when the actor will continue filming. Fox reportedly stepped up security for members of production after they received a threatening letter.
As first reported by ThatGrapeJuice.net, the attack on the actor might have been premeditated, posting a photo of a note he received prior to the incident from her home that read: "You Will Die Black F—," in cut-out magazine letters, next to a stick figure drawing of someone getting lynched.
A source revealed to the outlet that Smollett is physically O.K. but the attack left him "shaken."
"Jussie was walking when two guys started yelling racial and homophobic slurs at the Empire star," the source said. "Jussie was then attacked by the men and was repeatedly hit. Jussie tried to protect himself and at one point the men poured a substance on him believed to be bleach and one of the guys put a rope around his neck. After some time the men fled the scene and Jussie went to the hospital. Jussie is mostly physically O.K. with some scrapes and bruises, but he's more emotionally shook up."
Chicago police have been investigating the incident, searching for video of the attack in an attempt to identify the perpetrators. Reports also say the FBI might be taking over the investigation after the realization the attack may have been premeditated.
Since news of the attack broke, many public figures and celebrities have spoken on the matter, sending messages of support to the actor.
"What happened to Jussie has me feeling so upset," Dancing With the Stars personality Adam Rippon tweeted. "I dont want to believe that we still live in a world where attacks like this can happen. Jussie, I don't know you, but I love you. The men that attacked him are disgusting. They are monsters."
Smollett has not spoken publicly about the attack as of press time.