Lee Daniels, the creator and showrunner of the show Empire, has been having a tough couple of months following the Jussie Smollett scandal.
Though the cast and crew are coming together to finish out Season 5, Daniels took to Instagram on Wednesday, March 20 to comment on the drama.
“Oh my God, These past couple of weeks have been a freaking roller coaster,” he expressed in the video.
“Me and my cast have experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration, and really don’t know how to deal with it, ya know?”
Though he never mentions Smollett by name, it’s clear Daniels is talking about the disgraced actor. Daniels also mentions these current episodes of Empire that are airing were filmed prior to the scandal.
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“This is not what the show was made for,” he said.
“This show was made to bring America together to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets.”
Smollett has been written out of the last two episodes of the season, but it’s unclear what’s going to happen to his character in the future.
“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,” the show said in a statement.
“While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out.”
The statement continued, “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.”