LA Weekly - Michael Cooper - I've written about many upsetting topics about prejudice against the LGBTQ community in this column, but this week's is one of the most unsettling and difficult to write about. It's only been a little over a week since it happened, but with our current news cycle, it's been pushed out of the spotlight. And it shouldn't be. In the early morning of Tuesday, Jan. 29, openly gay black actor Jussie Smollett, who plays the openly gay character of Jamal Lyon on Fox's Empire, was attacked in a racist, homophobic hate crime in Chicago. The actor had just gotten off a plane in Chicago and went to a Subway to grab a sandwich around 2 a.m.