Jussie Smollett will be dropped from this season's remaining two episodes of "Empire," but producers have not given any indication of what happens next. There have been no reports that the actor, accused of staging a hoax hate crime, will be fired or written out of the show permanently.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” producers of the show, including Lee Daniels, said, according to Deadline Hollywood. “Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply.
They called the allegations "very disturbing," but said they are letting the legal process play out.
Smollett on Thursday surrendered to police and was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. He was released on a $100,000 bond, and then headed to the "Empire" set, where he told the cast and crew, "I swear to God, I did not do this."
His only apology was to say, "I’m sorry I’ve put you all through this and not answered any calls," and "I wanted to say I’m sorry and, you know me, I would never do this to any of you, you are my family."
Smollett insists three weeks ago two men attacked him, tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach over him, beat him, and yelled, "This is MAGA country," a reference to President Trump's campaign slogan.
Chicago Police in a scathing press conference Thursday allege Smollett staged a hoax to “to further his own public profile,” and because he was "dissatisfied" with his salary.