Jussie Smollett’s scenes on his hit TV show Empire have reportedly been almost entirely cut, with writers struggling to fill in the gaps amid claims that he faked his own attack to “save his job.”
According to TMZ, inside production sources revealed the series’ creators decided to completely change nine of the actor’s key scenes in the upcoming episodes, as well as downplay his role in a big musical that’s in the making. Smollett plays Jamal Lyon, one of Terrance Howard’s character’s sons. Jamal is an openly gay singer in Empire, much like the actor is in real life.
The Fox show is currently in Season 5, and its last episode aired on December 5, but it is set to return to the small screen sometime in the spring. However, its 10th episode’s airing date has not been confirmed yet, and the final episodes are currently being shot.
The 36-year-old actor, who was allegedly attacked on January 29 by two men wearing ski masks, was supposed to play a prominent role in at least nine scenes, and even have his own musical, but he has now been given fewer responsibilities and will share the screen with other characters, according to the sources. Yet, it is worth noting that the insiders could not fully confirm whether his part as Jamal would be completely written out of the show. TMZ also reports that he is working on set this week but is only required there on Friday and possibly on Thursday, too. On Monday, Fox representatives refused to comment on whether Smollett’s role had been affected by the current police investigation, which has taken a very surprising turn in recent days.
— CNN (@CNN) February 18, 2019
On Monday, it was claimed that he may now be facing charges for filing a false police report regarding the attack he states he suffered amid rumors that he paid the two men to assault him. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, he told police he was attacked at around 2 a.m. near a subway in Chicago by two ski mask-clad men who shouted racist and homophobic abuse at him. According to him, the assailants beat him up, tied a rope noose around his neck, and poured a bleach-like substance on him. He said that the insults used included “this is MAGA country,” “Empire f****t,” and “Empire n*****.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 18, 2019
Smollett fully denies the claims that he orchestrated his own attack, with his team of lawyers confirming that he has been cooperative throughout the entire Chicago police investigation.