Jussie Smollett’s “Empire” colleagues reportedly still want him to return for the next season of the show, even after Fox’s decision to remove him from the series.
The co-stars are not happy with the decision Fox made regarding Smollett and have reportedly been lobbying executives to have Smollett return after he was accused of staging a hate crime hoax against himself, according to a post published Monday by TMZ.
The push to have Smollett return comes after the cast members wrote a letter to executives.
Jussie Smollett’s ‘Empire’ Costars Want Him Back Despite Fox’s Decision https://t.co/2yMqgQD8vC
— TMZ (@TMZ) May 6, 2019
As previously reported, Smollett will not be returning for the entirety of the sixth season of “Empire,” although the cast thinks it would be a good decision to bring the disgraced actor back full-time.
The cast believes Smollett’s character, Jamal Lyons, was an important part of the show and have argued that having his character come back wouldn’t hurt ratings TMZ reported. (RELATED: ‘Empire’ Ratings Hit Lowest Number In Series History Following Jussie Smollett Court Drama)
Smollett was written off the final two episodes of “Empire” after he allegedly orchestrated a hate crime against himself. Prosecutors dropped all 16 charges of disorderly conduct and filing a false police report against Smollett on March 26, despite pushback from Chicago Police claiming they had evidence that Smollett staged the attack.
Jussie Smollett’s rep releases a statement about his future on #Empire: “We’ve been told Jussie will not be on Empire in the beginning of the season but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open” https://t.co/JYxGRITixb pic.twitter.com/dnqbtNYfip
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) April 30, 2019
After the charges were dropped, the cast, including Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, penned a letter to executives encouraging Smollett’s return. The cast wrote they believe Smollett’s version of events and stand with him. (RELATED: ‘Empire’ Cast Wants Jussie Smollett To Return To Show Following Legal Drama)
“That is why we write today to ask you to keep Jussie on the cast so that we can all put this behind us and move forward,” his cast members wrote. “Thank you for taking time to hear us. It’s our hope that together we will move into our sixth season as the entire Empire family should.”