Jussie Smollett is officially persona non grata on the set of “Empire,” because producers have axed his role on the show for the remainder of the season.
In a statement to The Blast, “Empire” producers say, “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.”
The statement from producers, including Lee Daniels and Danny Strong says, “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.”
As we reported, FOX has been having an internal struggle on what to do with Smollett since the rollercoaster story began. The network had originally put their full support behind the actor, but after his arrest was announced they were considering their options on what action to take.
It was a rough Thursday for Smollett, who turned himself in to Chicago police for felony disorderly conduct. Superintendent Eddie Johnson gave a scathing speech about the actor, calling his actions “shameful” and claiming he hurt the city of Chicago.