A major consequence of this, even though it has not been confirmed that it was a hoax, is that scenes featuring him on the hit show have been drastically slashed.
The actor, who plays gay singer-songwriter Jamal Lyon on the show, was supposed to have nine scenes and a big musical performance in the second-to-last episode of Season 5. However, five scenes and the musical number have been axed.
Smollett’s character is also no longer the focus of his remaining four scenes, which will now feature an ensemble of characters.
The 36-year-old actor is spending far less time on set as a result. He’ll be working Friday and possibly Thursday but won’t be rehearsing.
“Empire” scriptwriters have been scrambling over the last 24 hours to revise this season’s scripts.
Smollett claims he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack near his Chicago apartment Jan. 29, but suspicion has since emerged that he paid two friends to help stage the assault.
By Damilola Faustino