The character of actor Jussie Smollett in Fox’s “Empire” has been removed from the final two episodes of the current season after his arrest this week.
Smollett has starred on Fox’s “Empire” since 2015, who played the role of a successful singer named ‘Jamal’ in the musical Lyon family. Like his character in the series, Smollett is also gay.
The producers’ decision was final and made to “avoid further disruption on set,” after issuing a statement signed by seven “Empire” creators including Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, and showrunner, Brett Mahoney.
“Empire” is in the midst of filming its fifth season finale in Chicago.
“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,” the producers announced after his arrest.
The arrest originated when Smollett had told police that on January 29, he was attacked by two people who screamed racist and homophobic insults at him. The incident prompted a lot of support for Smollett and from his fans including his “Empire” co-stars and producers, especially when the
However, Chicago police allegedly accused Smollett of paying two men for 3,500 dollars to stage an attack on him last month. According to police, Smollett faces a felony charge of disorderly conduct over falsely claiming he was attacked. And under Illinois law, filing a false case or police report is punishable by one to three years in prison.
Smollett is consistently denying the allegation that he made the story up. In a statement released by the actor’s end, his attorneys promised to defend Smollett after Cook County state’s attorney’s office approved a felony disorderly conduct charge against him.
Investigators believe that Smollett orchestrated the attack mainly because he was dissatisfied with his salary, Chicago police superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said on Thursday. Smollett was released on $100,000 bond and was given a command to turn over his passport.
After his release, the actor reported to the set of “Empire” and apologized to the cast and crew for unintentionally causing an embarrassment to them. However, he maintained his innocence as he addressed a speech to his co-workers.
After Smollett’s arrest on Thursday, the studio and network behind “Empire” said that they were evaluating the situation and considering other options. However, just this Friday, an announcement shook the entire “Empire” avid watchers that Smollett’s character will be written out of the show.