Empire co-creator Lee Daniels confirmed on Tuesday that actor Jussie Smollett will be written out of the series’ sixth season and last season.
What We Know:
- Daniels’ responded to an article Variety posted on Twitter about Smollett’s return to the show. The series co-creator tweeted “This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire.”
— lee daniels (@leedanielsent) June 4, 2019
- Smollett was written out of the final episodes of the Fox series’ fifth season after receiving backlash for allegedly staging a hate crime against himself earlier this year.
- Smollett’s representatives had negotiated a contract extension for the actor in April. However, Fox reps said there were no plans for his character to return to the show.
- A few of Smollett’s cast members wrote a letter to Fox and Disney to keep the actor on the show, according to Deadline. The letter read “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.’” The letter was signed by Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe, and Nicole Ari Parker.
Although there were no plans for Smollett to return to the series, Variety reported that the Empire writers have been coming up with ideas on how bring Smollett’s character back in the second half of the last season in case plans changed.