One day after Jussie Smollett was arrested on multiple felony charges over last month’s alleged racist and homophobic attack in Chicago, the producers of Empire have cut the actor from the rest of the show’s fifth season.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” executive producers Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer in a statement this morning in reference to the supposed assault of January 29 and the subsequent legal fallout.
“Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply,” the producers added. “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.”
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