'Empire' Pauses Production Due to Polar Vortex in Wake of Jussie Smollett Attack

Fox's hit show Empire is putting their Season 5 production on hold due to the Polar Vortex.

The cast and crew shoot the series in Chicago, but the Windy City's temperatures are well below freezing pacing -22 degrees, with a wind chill in the -40's.

According to Entertainment Weekly, those temperatures run parallel with parts of Siberia, the Arctic, even colder than recent temperatures on Mars. Sadly, seven people have been reported dead in the Midwest.

Sources have said that their pause is not due to the racist and homophobic attack on cast member, Jussie Smollett. The attack happened early Tuesday morning when Smollett was leaving a Subway restaurant at around 2 a.m. Armed men in ski masks tied a rope around his neck and poured bleach on his face while yelling racist and homophobic slurs before running away. Smollett had to transport himself to the hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and later discharged.

The attack happened eight days after Fox Studios received an anonymous letter threatening the actor's life. The letter featured words spelled with letters cut out from magazines that read, "You will die black f—."

As a response, Empire hired armed security for the actor in the wake of this devastating news.

Some of his cast members have broken their silence regarding the attack.

Taraji P. Henson — who acts as his mother on the series — captioned a black-and-white video of Smollett performing his song "F.U.W", "I wish what happened to my baby was just one big bad joke but it wasn't and we all feel his pain right now. [Jussie Smollett] is pure love to the bone AND THAT IS WHY SO MANY ARE FEELING HIS PAIN BECAUSE IT IS OUR PAIN!!! I tell you one thing HATE WILL NOT WIN!!!! My baby is resilient and love still lives in him. The devil and his minions are very buys right now but one thing is for sure and two things are for certain #GODIS and that is all I know."

"This song needs to be downloaded until it goes triple platinum because the message is NEEDED," she continued. "#weareresilientpeople AND #weaintgoingnowhereuntilwearefinished. The love so many have him just goes to show HE IS LOVE!!!! I LOVE YOU MY BABY MY BABY!!! #LOVEWINSALWAYS."

Terrance Howard — who plays his father on the show — spoke his thoughts on the matter as well.


"I heard he's getting better. You know, he's angry. But I know Jussie. Jussie's anger will dissipate and he will forgive these people for what they did. But he won't, and we cannot, forget their actions. They have to be forgiven because it was done out of ignorance," he said.

Other celebrities like Kevin Hart and Ariana Grande have sent their love his way as well.