The Fox drama series “Empire” kept to its production schedule today following a vicious attack on one of its stars, Jussie Smollett, Variety reports, citing a source.
“The Fox show’s production schedule remains ‘fluid’ for the rest of the week, according to the source. It is not yet known how Smollett’s injuries will ultimately impact production on the current season, which would typically wrap in March,” Variety reports. Fox declined to comment on the show’s production.
As we reported previously, Smollett was attacked in Chicago in the early-morning hours today in what is widely believed to be a hate crime. Two men reportedly yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, wrapped a rope around his neck and poured an unknown liquid on him. TMZ has reported that the liquid was bleach.
Variety reports that the investigation into the attack has been handed over to the FBI. Smollett had reportedly received a letter last week threatening him and using racially charged language and homophobic slurs. TMZ noted that the FBI was already investigating the letter.
TMZ reports that Chicago police confirmed Smollett told them in a follow-up interview that his attackers yelled “MAGA country,” an apparent reference to the political slogan “Make America great again.”
The TMZ report cites sources connected with “Empire” saying Smollett and the rest of the main cast members will have armed security during the rest of the time they’re shooting in Chicago.
TMZ adds: “‘Empire’ staff held an emergency meeting Tuesday morning in Chicago to tell everyone what happened to Jussie. We’re told the cast and crew were extremely upset. Several actors were already in their trailers getting ready to shoot when they got the news.”