Jussie Smollett will not be returning to Fox’s popular “Empire” TV series. The series’ creator, Lee Daniels denied media reports claiming that Smollett would return. Smollett has been facing public scrutiny and legal woes following allegations that he faked a hate crime against himself this past January.
The TV series has been entering its sixth and final series. Smollett has apparently been written out of the last episodes. Smollett played a gay musician trying to win the approval of his father. Back in 2016, both Smollett’s role and acting were lauded as groundbreaking.
The alleged hate crime initially sparked an uproar. Racial tensions have worsened in recent years with white supremacy groups and their foes sometimes clashing in the streets. Critics also claim that President Trump has acted racist, or at best, has been insensitive to racial issues.
However, as the investigation into the alleged attack on Smollett unfolded, evidence emerged that the incident may have been staged. Smollett was then charged with multiple felony counts for duping the Chicago police. Prosecutors, however, decided to drop the charges.
Smollett’s legal team continues to deny the allegations. It’s alleged that Smollett’s friends were the people who attacked him. Smollett claims that he was shocked to learn that his friends attacked him. However, prosecutors allege that the whole attack was set up and was nothing more than a hoax.
The lead prosecutor in the case cited Smollett’s volunteer service and willingness to forfeit his $10,000 bond while dropping charges. Other Chicago government officials quickly lashed out at the decision. Then-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Eddie Johnson were about the most vocal critics.