Fox just announced it’s scratching Smollett from the end of the current season. The statement says, “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. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out.”
The statement continues, “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.”
Fox says Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer all signed off on the decision to remove Jussie.
It’s clear they heard the complaints of Smollett’s cast members.
Jussie Smollett betrayed the trust of his “Empire” coworkers and damaged the show’s image, and now several cast members want him written off immediately … according to our sources.
We’re told many of the “Empire” actors are “f**king furious” and feel if FOX honchos don’t fire Jussie, he should quit on his own … because he doesn’t deserve a spot on the hit show.
The feelings of animosity stem from the fact everyone on set had Jussie’s back after the “attack,” but in light of the new evidence police have laid out … many of them feel hurt and embarrassed.
We’re told almost everyone on set is worried about how Smollett’s damaged the show’s reputation … and could continue to do so if he remains part of the cast.
Now, our sources say there are still some cast and crew members who believe Jussie’s telling the truth because they can’t fathom him pulling off a hoax like this. We’re told arguments have erupted over how best to handle the situation.
It seems Smollett is well aware of the dissension on set. Jussie showed up on set Thursday after the madness outside the court and apologized to everyone, but insisted he’s innocent.
We’re told he’s changed his number because certain pissed off cast members were blowing up his phone. He’s only given his new number to the people still in his corner.
Jussie was arrested Thursday and is facing a felony charge of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. He was released from custody after posting a $10k bond and has been ordered to have no contact with the Osundairo brothers.
Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Jussie’s dissatisfaction with his “Empire” salary motivated the ruse and claims Smollett was also responsible for the hate letter sent to Fox Studios.