Lee Daniels Shuts Down Rumors Jussie Smollett Will Be In Final Season Of ‘Empire’: It’s NOT Factual!
Jussie Smollet’s career on FOX’s “Empire” is over over. The creator of the series, Lee Daniels, made that clear when he responded to rumors that Smollett would be coming back as his character Jamal Lyon.
“This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning.”
Daniels message was a response to a claim that several sources confirmed writers were gearing up for Smollett’s return in the last half of the upcoming 18-episode season.
Smollett was dropped from the show after he was accused of staging a hate crime against himself.
While Daniels was adamant that Smollett is not returning, he’s publicly supported Smollett despite the backlash against the actor and singer. He said back in April,
“The cast is upset, it is a sad time and we are slowly healing. What I am learning right now is I can’t judge, that that judgement is for that man wearing that black coat with gavel and God. I can only support him because he is like my son, he is my son, so I am with him, I can only support him and give him compassion.”
Still, Smollett’s character was ultimately written out of the show. But his co-stars also showed their support and wrote an open letter hoping Daniels and the other showrunners and execs would bring back Smollett.
The lengthy letter reads,
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.
It’s clearer every day that the extreme political climate in our country has only made our system of justice and the court of public opinion more unjust.
It is why now, more than ever, we must stand together as a family. A family is there for us in good times and bad. It can cut through the noise and confusion to understand that there is a person in the center of all this who deserves nothing more than to move forward with his life. We understand that this show is a business. And that business matters to us as well. We are confident our fans will welcome our “Jamal” back into the Empire family as enthusiastically as we will.
That is why we write today to ask you to keep Jussie on the cast so that we can all put this behind us and move forward. Thank you for taking time to hear us. It’s our hope that together we will move into our sixth season as the entire Empire family should.
Taraji P Henson
Bryshere Y. Gray
Nicole Ari Parker
As for the attack, Smollett claimed that two Caucasian men attacked him in the middle of a winter night in Chicago and screamed racist and homophobic insults, along with showing their support for President Donald Trump.
He even said during an interview that he believed his strong stance against Trump is what sparked the attack.
As the investigation unfolded, police discovered that it was actually two Nigerian brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, who attacked Smollett.
The narrative changed from Smollett being a victim to the one who pulled off a hoax after the brothers claimed he paid them to attack him. The Chicago Police department accused Smollett of doing it for attention, stating he wasn’t happy with his salary on “Empire.”
Smollett later faced 16 felony counts for allegedly filing a false police report. The charges against him were dropped, but an investigation into the Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, is underway as authorities look into how she handled the case and why she removed all charges.
The city is also suing Smollett for the cost of the investigation into the alleged attack.
Do you want Jussie Smollett to return to Empire? Tell us in the comments!