Jussie Smollett is suffering huge backlash from his alleged staged attack.
Empire has completely removed him from the show, with the management releasing a statement as to this effect.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us” said series executives Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer in a statement released Friday. “Jussie has been an important member of our ‘Empire’ family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out. We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.”
Fox had previously issued multiple statements in support of Smollett, referring to him as a “consummate professional” during his time on “Empire.”
But, the tone shifted following his arrest, with the network saying they were “evaluating the situation” and “considering [their] options.”
Whether or not Smollett will return to the show should it get picked up for a sixth season remains to be seen.
By Oluwatoyin Adeleye
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