Jussie Smollett not returning to ‘Empire’ after alleged hate-crime hoax
Jussie Smollett will never return to his hit TV show “Empire” — because the scandal of his alleged hate-crime hoax would “overshadow” the show which is “bigger than him,” a network boss has confirmed.
“We’re not going to bring Jussie back to the show,” Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn told TVLine, ending on-going speculation he would make a surprise return as his character Jamal.
Thorn insisted that there were “a number of factors” that went into the decision, saying, “There were many points of view about if he should come back or if he shouldn’t.”
However, it was ultimately decided that the actor’s scandal — in which he was accused of making up an attack in Chicago in which a noose was put around his neck by men shouting “This is MAGA country!” — would be too damaging.
“As hard as a decision as that was, for us — and when I say us I mean the network, the studio and the producers — it felt like it was in the best interests of the show and the cast,” Thorn told the site.
“Our hope is that all of the controversy surrounding Jussie doesn’t overshadow the show, which we think is bigger than him,” he said of the scandal, which has even been a target of attack for President Trump.
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