Empire Renewed For Season 6, No Plans For Jussie Smollett To Return + Actor Releases Statement
Empire will return for the shows 6th consecutive season although. There are no plans for Jussie Smollett’s character, ‘Jamal‘ to return. In a statement released by the Fox network on Tuesday, there are no current plans for Smollett to return to the Lyon family.
“By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for season 6, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to ‘Empire.'”
A spokesperson for Smollett said in a statement,
“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.”
President of Fox Entertainment, Michael Thorn said in a statement on the renewal,
“We want to thank everyone on the show—Taraji, Terrence and the entire cast, as well as Lee, Danny, Brett, Sanaa, Brian, Francie, Dennis and their teams —all of whom have done a tremendous job this season. We know there are so many more stories to tell, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for Season Six.”
The show’s executive producer Lee Daniels broke his silence last month, hinting at the strife the incident has caused him and the casts of his shows “Empire” and “Star.” He posted this message to social media:
“These past couple of weeks have been a freakin’ rollercoaster. Me and my cast have experienced pain and anger, and sadness and frustration – and really don’t know how to deal with it, you know? ‘Cause everything has happened – which you’re seeing tonight – prior to the incident. And this is not what the show is made for. This show was made to bring America together; to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets. So, anyway, both shows are on tonight – ‘Star’ and ‘Empire.’ They’re incredible.”
As previously reported, all 16 counts against the 36-year-old actor were eventually dropped by the city of Chicago. In the aftermath of charges being dropped, Smollett’s fellow cast members including Taraji P. Henson wrote an open letter to Fox asking for Smollett to be brought back. The letter from Smollett’s ‘Empire‘ castmates stated:
“Dear Charlie, Dana, Michael, Lee, Danny, Francie, Brian, Sanaa, Dennis, and Brett,
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.
We understand the past months have been difficult to process—sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal. Throughout Empire’s five seasons working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity. He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped. We are confident in his lawyer’s assurance that the case was dismissed because it would not have prevailed. Jussie has shown us on and off the set who he really is as a leader. In addition to being a caring friend and cast member who treats every crew member with love and respect, he has spent time with our families and individually supported each of us. These recent and detailed letters from The Black AIDS Institute, the Rainbow Push Coalition and the City Lights Orchestra shine a light on his commitment to true community service. Just a few months ago, Jussie partnered with the Trevor Project to provide support to their volunteer program that allows LGBTQ youth in crisis access to vital counseling services. Prior to that, he gave every cent from his sold out world tour to numerous charities. He has adopted a school in Chicago, taught songwriting to incarcerated youth at the Cook County Jail last year and bought the family of Kayden Kinckle, a six-year-old, double amputee, a wheelchair accessible van due to his school district not having a wheelchair accessible school bus. He has traveled to South Africa for service as well as to Jamaica to quietly meet about the safety of LGBTQ youth. This was all done without posturing, the need for attention or even discussion. This is the Jussie we know.