The biggest cliffhanger on Empire is going to be will Jussie Smollett return to the Fox primetime soap next season! The controversial actor’s co-stars have taken pen to paper to let their feelings be known.
According to Deadline, Empire stars Terrence Howard (Lucious) and Taraji P. Henson (Cookie) and other cast members have sent a letter to Disney TV Studios/ABC Entertainment execs, Fox Entertainment execs, and Empire creator Danny Strong asking that Smollett be allowed to return to the series next season.
The actor’s status with Empire has been in question after reports came to light that his being attacked by two men earlier this year were staged. Smollett was devastated by these reports.
Later, all charges were dropped against Smollett, but many in the court of public opinion are not satisfied with the outcome. And the actor’s legal troubles may not be over.
The letter, dated April 19, reads, in part, “Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of Empire.”
Smollett forfeited his $10,000 bond and was given community service. Deadline reported that Fox and Disney TV Studios had no comment on the letter from the cast.
At press time, the show had not been officially renewed for a Season 6, although it is expected to be picked up. Smollett’s option is set to expire in June.
“A family is there for us in good times and bad,” the cast letter stated. “It can cut through the noise and confusion to understand that there is a person in the center of all this who deserves nothing more than to move forward with his life.
“We understand that this show is a business. And that business matters to us as well. We are confident our fans will welcome our ‘Jamal’ back into the Empire family as enthusiastically as we will.”
Soap Hub will keep you posted on this developing story.
Empire airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.