NEWSFLASH!! It’s a wrap for Jussie Smollett when it comes to Empire.
Despite there being a slew of rumors circulating last month that Smollett would be returning for the series finale of the popular Fox drama, the network has confirmed that they have decided to leave Jussie out of the final episodes.
Smollett, 37, was silently erased from the storyline of Empire after his claims of being a victim of hate crimes in Chicago were questioned in early 2019.
The Fox drama, which was subsequently canceled in the wake of Jussie’s hate crime hoax scandal has publicly acknowledged that Jamal Lyons will not be returning for the final episode.
The president of entertainment at Fox confirmed the news to TVLine, with the following statement:
We’re not going to bring Jussie back to the show. There were a number of factors that went into the decision to not bring him back. There were many points of view about if he should come back or if he shouldn’t.
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.