Jussie Smollett has officially been written off “Empire” after a whirlwind week which saw him go from a victim to a criminal suspect.
Jussie was hit with a felony charge of disorderly conduct, after claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago on January 29.
A statement jointly released Friday by the executive producers of the show, Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Gazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer confirmed the decision to remove the role.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our ‘Empire’ family for the past five years and we care about him deeply,” a statement reads.
“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,” producers continued.
Jussie Smollett who turned himself over to the police is currently free on $100,000 bail and maintains his innocence.
Police are claiming the actor staged the attack due to dissatisfaction with his pay.