Fox Finally Reveals If Jussie Smollet Is Returning To 'Empire'
By Peyton Blakemore
May 1, 2019
Empire may be coming back for its sixth season, but it doesn't look like Jussie Smollett will be involved.
On Tuesday (April 30), Fox released a statement saying the 33-year-old actor's contract has been extended, but it's unclear if he'll actually return to the show following his months of controversy.
"By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire," the network said in a statement. A spokesperson for Jussie additionally told Variety, "We’ve been told that Jussie will not be on Empire in the beginning of the season, but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open. Most importantly, he is grateful to Fox and Empire leadership, cast, crew, and fans for their unwavering support."
News of Jussie's fate on the show comes a week after his Empire cast mates wrote a letter addressed to Fox, Disney, and ABC executives, as well as producers of the show, demanding that Jussie's character, Jamal Lyon, return for the upcoming sixth season. "Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of Empire," the letter, which was signed by Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe, and Nicole Ari Parker, stated.
As fans know, Jussie was accused of staging a January hate crime against himself for attention and monetary gain. While he was charged with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for the alleged staged attack, all charges were dropped against the 34-year-old star Empire star, who has maintained his innocence, in March.
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