Singer and actor Jussie Smollett performed in West Hollywood last week, just days after the black, openly gay co-star of Fox’s Empire was allegedly assaulted in Chicago by two men shouting racist and homophobic slurs. “I’m not fully healed yet,” Smollett, 36, said while suppressing tears, “but I’m going to stay strong for y’all.” Police are investigating the late-night attack as a possible hate crime and are pursuing suspects who Smollett says hit him in the face and wrapped a rope around his neck while saying, “This is MAGA country.” No video footage of the attack has been found on the many surveillance cameras monitoring Chicago’s streets, leading some conservative commentators to question whether Smollett—who had cuts and bruises on his face—staged an anti-Trump hoax.
Liam Neeson shocked fans this week by volunteering that he once craved racial vengeance against black people after a loved one was allegedly raped. Speaking with the U.K.’s Independent to promote his new film, Neeson, 66, compared his character’s anger to an episode from his own life years ago. After the loved one told Neeson she’d been raped by a black man, “I went up and down areas with a cosh,” he said, referring to a blunt object used as a weapon, “hoping some black bastard would come out of a pub and have a go at me…so that I could kill him.” Neeson said this went on for about a week before he came to his senses. “It was horrible, horrible, when I think back,” he said.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested rapper 21 Savage in his hometown of Atlanta this week, saying he’s a British national who has overstayed his visa since 2005. The 26-year-old Grammy-nominated artist, who has portrayed himself as an Atlanta native, was reportedly in a car with another man targeted in a sting operation, leading police to run a background check that revealed 21 Savage’s immigration status. “His whole public persona is false,” an ICE spokesperson said. The rapper was placed in ICE custody and faces deportation. His lawyer said that 21 Savage’s parents had brought him to the U.S. as a child, and that ICE is trying to “unnecessarily punish him.” ■