You’re FIRED! Jussie Smollett Character Removed From Empire Season Finale
In true Hollywood style, Fox and Empire have given Jussie Smollett a slow, drawn-out, tearful and dramatic exit from the show.
Smollett has been a key cast member on “Empire” from the show’s beginning, and now it seems he is gone.
Fox had previously referred to Smollett as a “consummate professional” during his time on “Empire.” They issued multiple statements of support as the actors story began to fall apart.
Fox then began mulling over a possible punishment for Smollett after his racist attack story was officially denounced by Chicago authorities.
First they stated Smollett was secure in his role. Then they reduced in half his appearances in the last few shows. Now his character has been totally removed from the final episodes.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us” said series executives Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer.
“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.”
Whether or not Smollett will return to the show should it get picked up for a sixth season remains to be seen.
During a press conference Thursday morning, the Chicago PD stated they believed Smollett staged the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on “Empire.” They also said they believe Smollett had sent a threatening letter to himself that was received at “Empire’s” Chicago production office days before the attack.
Smollett and his representatives have repeatedly denied that he staged the attack. He was released on bail on Thursday afternoon and returned to the set of “Empire.”
The Smollett attack began to fall apart last Friday when 3 Chicago news agencies started getting word that things were amiss.
Brad Edwards, a reporter at CBS Chicago, cited a source who said investigators believe the “non-cooperating 2 witnesses are co-conspirators in a potentially staged attack.”
WGN news investigative reporter Ben Bradley also tweeted that the two persons of interest are both men are black and at least 1 of them is connected to the “Empire” show.
ABC7 in Chicago reported that the possible motive behind the hoax is that Smollett was being written off of Empire. Smollett failed to appear for an interview with detectives earlier Thursday, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
Chicago PD refused to confirm or deny the multiple reports by multiple local news agencies.
Smollett has been in complete denial of any involvement in the incidents whatsoever. His lawyers released a statement when his story began to fall apart:
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” began a statement from Smollett attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
He has continued to deny. He gave a tearful denial yesterday on the set to the cast and crew of Empire.
Obviously, they did not believe it!