Bad news for Smollett. Great news for "Empire" fans.
The court of public opinion has determined Jussie Smollett is guilty of being a blatant liar, even though the charges against him were dropped. The actor has been working towards rebuilding his public image after claiming that he was the victim of a vicious hate crime. His fate on Empire was likely determined by the incident while he allegedly hoped the "attack" would boost his career, it seems to have done the opposite. Fox announced that the show would be returning for a sixth season but the fate of Smollett is still in the air.
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"By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for season 6, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire," Fox said in a statement.
It's a strange agreement to have. The company seems to be keeping Smollett nearby but they haven't confirmed whether he'll be making his way back on the show. What could be a determining factor in all of this is the civil lawsuit filed against him by the City Of Chicago who is demanding that he cough up six-figures to repay the cost of the investigation.
What's even more weird about this is that by extending Jussie's option for the show's sixth season, they would likely have to pay him for the contract. This ultimately means that he'd be getting some money from the show even though he's not in it.
Smollett was previously seen having lunch with executives of the show and it seemed promising that he'd be making his return.