Following the arrest of Jussie Smollett for reportedly staging his own hate crime, Empire and Fox have made a decision about his future with the show.
According to a statement from the executive producers of the show, they are going to write him out of the remaining Season 5 episodes. The Fox show released a statement regarding Jussie’s status on the show on Friday.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply,” Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo, and Dennis Hammer said in a statement.
“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.”
Though Jussie will not be in the last couple of episodes of Season 5, it’s unclear if he’ll be written out of the show for good. More than likely, that will depend on what happens as he moves through the legal process.
Following Jussie’s arrest on Thursday, February 21, Fox revealed they were still weighing their options.
“We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options,” they said in a statement.
All of this comes almost a month after Jussie claimed he was attacked in Chicago by two men who allegedly poured bleach on him and put a rope around his neck.
Jussie also said the two men shouted racist and homophobic slurs and said, “This is MAGA country.”
What are your thoughts on Jussie’s departure? Will you still watch Empire? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.