Jussie Smollett has already had one heck of a year. We’ve now learned that the actor will not be featured on “Empire” for the upcoming sixth season. The story, first reported by thedailybeast.com. His character, Jamal, was excluded from the last two episodes of season 5 after all the negative attention he brought to himself and the series, and now the network is saying that his return is unlikely for season six, and it would be safe to assume that likely means for the foreseeable future of the season.
While the actor had his charges dropped for the filing a false police report on his alleged staged racist and homophobic attack in February, he has still faced a lot of backlash for the events. The city of Chicago is still processing a lawsuit against the actor for the costs the city had from investigating the attack. Additionally, the $10,000 bail Jussie paid was forfeited as part of a deal for having his charges dropped.
Fox Entertainment said in a statement that there were no plans for Smollett’s character to return to the show for the new season. “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 studio said.
The good news is that his option has been picked up. That likely means that the network is waiting to see if the negative press about him will die down, but that may only be wishful thinking.
A representative for Smollett seemed to be holding out hope that the actor would be back. “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,” the representative said. “Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and ‘Empire’ leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support.”
Photo Credit: Nuccio DiNuzzo / Stringer – Getty Images North America
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