Jussie Smollett Exits Empire: Fox Drama Opts to 'Remove' Embattled Actor From Season's Final 2 Episodes

TVLine | 2/22/2019 | Michael Ausiello
Click For Photo: https://pmctvline2.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/empire.jpg?w=620

Empire is no longer standing by its man. The Fox drama has suspended Jussie Smollett in the wake of the actor’s arrest for allegedly staging last month’s hate-crime attack against himself. Smollett’s sorta-dismissal comes as the Fox drama was winding down production on Season 5; there’s no word how his character Jamal’s absence in this season’s final two episodes will be explained.

In a statement, Empire EPs Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer said, “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. 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.”

Smollett - Jamal - Fox - Drama - Debut

Smollett, who has played Jamal on the Fox drama since its debut, was arrested early Thursday in Chicago and faces a felony criminal charge of disorderly conduct/filing a false police report in connection with his alleged attack. At the time, 20th and Fox maintained, “We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”

In late January, Smollett reported to Chicago police that he was the victim of an early morning attack in which two men taunted the actor/singer with racist and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TVLine
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