Jussie Smollett Will Not Return For “Empire” Finale

“Empire” will not be welcoming back Jussie Smollett Jussie Smollett, the embattled actor who appeared on Empire for several seasons, will not return for the show’s finale. Smollett was...

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“Empire” will not be welcoming back Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett, the embattled actor who appeared on Empire for several seasons, will not return for the show’s finale. Smollett was written out of the show amid allegations he had faked a hate crime against himself and blamed Trump supporters.

Prosecutors allege Smollett staged the attack by hiring two Nigerian brothers who worked on the show to accost him while wearing red hats, meant to resemble Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats. Smollett has denied the allegations, but his acting career hasn’t recovered from the negative publicity.

Michael Thorn, the president of Fox Entertainment, said “many factors” contributed to the network’s decision not to bring Smollett back to the show.

“We’re not going to bring Jussie back to the show,” Thorn said. “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… it felt like it was in the best interests of the show and the cast. Our hope is that all of the controversy surrounding Jussie doesn’t overshadow the show, which we think is bigger than him.”

The charges against Smollett were dropped, although police maintain that the hate crime was a hoax.

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