“He Will Not Be Coming Back,” Fox President Reveals That Jussie Smollett Is Off From Empire Movie: SEE REASON
Michael Thorn, the president of Fox entertainment, during a conversation with TVLine, revealed they would never bring Jussie Smollett back on the set of Empire due to the faux-hate crime scandal he was involved in at the beginning of 2019.
Mr. Thorn, in no uncertain words, stated that the scandal he allegedly orchestrated led to a media spectacle, which would “overshadow” Empire.
“He will not be coming back,” Thorn said. “As you would expect when you’re finishing an iconic series like ‘Empire,’ that Brett, as the showrunner, along with his producing partners, would certainly have discussions about what’s the best way to finish the show. In this case, Jussie will not be coming back for the finale.”
According to Mr. Thorn, there were many different viewpoints and perspectives regarding whether or not he should come back.
At the end of inner deliberations, it was ultimately decided that Jussie wouldn’t be cast again.
Thorn claimed that while it was a hard decision for everyone involved, it was ultimately the right decision for the show and the rest of the cast and crew.
As it was previously reported, Jussie was involved in the hate-crime hoax back in January of 2019.
After about one week of an investigation conducted by the Chicago police, inner sources who spoke with media outlets began to question the validity of Jussie’s story.
The show’s producers have never given serious indication that Smollett or his character, Jamal, would return — Fox said prior to the start of the current season that there were “no plans” for him to reappear — but showrunner Brett Mahoney recently told TheWrap that given the show’s nature as a family drama, it would be “weird and particularly challenging to do [the finale] without him.”
“Our hope at Fox — and I know the producers feel the same way — is that the show, to us, is much bigger than some of the personal stuff that’s unfortunately happened for Jussie, where we just want the ending to be as epic as the beginning,” Thorn said.
“Empire” is currently midway through its final season, with the last run of episodes set to air later in the spring. Smollett’s absence throughout the season has been explained away by his character’s move to Paris.