‘Empire’ Returns: What Options Do Its Producers Have Regarding Jussie Smollett?

‘Empire’ Returns: What Options Do Its Producers Have Regarding Jussie Smollett?
On Wednesday, “Empire” makes what should’ve been an uneventful return to TV to finish its fifth season, except that now, star Jussie Smollett’s real-life scandal has overshadowed any melodrama that the Lyon clan has experienced. In January, the actor reported that he was attacked in what appeared to be an alleged hate crime while in Chicago. However, an investigation cast doubt on his account, and by March, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts of “false report of offense” related to the incident.

Although he maintains his innocence, the seriousness of the alleged crime could not be ignored. In a statement supporting due process, series producers distanced “Empire” from the scandal and stated that Smollett’s character Jamal would be removed from the final two episodes of the season. But it will be difficult to forget about Smollett when he continues to appear on screen. In Wednesday’s episode,
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