Producers on Fox’s “Empire” are considering completely eliminating Jussie Smollett from the show after the actor was officially charged on Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct and filing a false police report in Chicago, according to Variety.
Fox, up to this point, has backed Smollett. Fox issued two separate statements on the alleged “attack” on Smollett showing their continued support for the actor and denying the actor was being written off the show.
“Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” the network and studio said in a statement Wednesday.
“The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of Empire is patently ridiculous,” the network said in a statement on Feb. 14. “He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”
Executive Producer for “Empire” Danny Strong tweeted on February 14th, “There is 0% truth that @JussieSmollett was going to be written off of Empire. This rumor is totally false. He is the third lead and one of the most beloved characters on the show. Writing him off the show has NEVER even been discussed.”
According to TMZ, Smollett will only be appearing in four of the nine scenes in the upcoming 5th season of ‘Empire,’ which is filming in Chicago. Included in the five scenes that Smollett was cut from was a scene set to be “a big musical” number.
Perhaps Fox will be considering this as their new slogan: “Believe in something. Even if it didn’t happen.”