LOS ANGELES– Producers from ‘Empire’ announced Friday that Jussie Smollett would be cut from the final episodes of the current season following the actor’s arrest.
A joint statement from executive producers Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer was released on 20th Century Fox’s Twitter account around 7:30 a.m.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredible 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 paid two men $3,500 to stage an attack on himself last month, taking “advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson said Thursday.
He was arrested and charged with a felony for allegedly filing a false police report.
Smollett claimed that he was attacked by two men who yelled racist and homophobic slurs, tied a rope around his neck and poured an unknown substance on him the morning of January 29.