Jussie Smollett’s ‘Empire’ co-stars want him back.
Although the Fox show has been renewed for a sixth season, producers recently revealed that the 36-year-old actor – who stars as Jamal Lyon in the hit series – has had his contract extended to keep the future of his character open but will probably not return.
However, co-stars of Jussie – who was accused of orchestrating a racist and homophobic attack on himself in January – are unhappy about this and want to see him back on the show.
According to TMZ, cast members believe Jussie deserves to return and they believe his character Jamal is vital for the show and for representation.
In one of the final episodes of season five, Jamal got married in the first gay, black wedding on primetime TV.
Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television recently revealed Jussie’s ‘Empire’ future, saying: “By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to ‘Empire.’”
Whilst a spokesperson for Jussie added: “We’ve been told that Jussie will not be on ‘Empire’ at the beginning of the season but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open. Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and ‘Empire’ leadership, cast, crew, and fans for their unwavering support.”
While Jussie was charged with 16 felony counts after being accused of lying to police, all of the charges were ultimately dropped.
However, he is involved in a civil suit with the city of Chicago, which is suing him for the cost of the investigation.
TMZ reports that ‘Empire’ bosses could be waiting on the outcome of this case before deciding whether to bring the star back for season six.