Addressing naysayers who doubt he was ever attacked, Smollett went on Good Morning America to talk to Robin Roberts about the an apparent hate crime. "Despite my frustrations and deep concern with certain inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been spread, I still believe that justice will be served", he said.
Actor Jussie Smollett is outraged by those doubting the details of the brutal hate crime he reportedly endured last month.
Smollett said he didn't want to call police at first, but that his friend and creative director, Frank Gatson, called on his behalf. "I'm sorry but - I'm not gonna do that", Smollett said. "I think that's disgusting", he said. He was talking on the phone with his manager when he was crossing an intersection, when someone on the street yelled, "Empire" at him.
"So I turned around and said "What the f**k did you just say to me" and I see the attacker masked", Smollett said, appearing to get emotional. "So I punched his a- back and then we started tussling".
"I just want young people, young members of the LGBTQ community, young black children to know how strong that they are", he said.
"It happened so fast".
Smollett also cleared up some false reports that his ribs had allegedly been fractured. "Like, I walked into the hospital, I walked out of the hospital".
Police have collected video surveillance footage from cameras in the downtown area and have also extended their search to stores in the area in the hopes of gathering evidence on who might have purchased the rope.
He told Roberts he's seen the photo police released of the persons of interest. "Then it became a thing of, like, 'Oh, how can you doubt that, like how do you not believe that".
The Empire star has recounted the events of that evening over and over in his head, as well as to the police.
"I understand how hard it will be to find them, but we got to", he added. There's no which way you cut it. "I don't need some MAGA hat as the cherry on top of a racist sundae".
He says accusations that the attack was a date gone bad are offensive.
"They wanted me to give my phone to the tech for three to four hours. I said, 'There's a fucking rope around my neck'".
The 36-year-old actor is black and openly gay. Let's not forget that we didn't get anti-lynching legislation until (checks calendar) 2018, and that the House of Representatives still needs to vote on it, and Donald Trump needs to sign it before it can become law. I am not weak. "We, as a people, are not weak". In a second interview with police he said that they yelled, "this is MAGA country!" at him, referring to the president's campaign motto, Make America Great Again.
"I don't know", Smollett said, as his eyes filled with tears". "I appreciate him not brushing over it".
"I come really, really hard against" Trump, Smollett said.
According to a report from WGN-Chicago, the two persons being interviewed by Chicago police are African-American.
"I will never be the man that this did not happen to".