Empire season 5 is currently in production in Chicago, but much of the show is being overshadowed by one of its stars in Jussie Smollett. The actor has been at the center of headlines ever since an incident earlier this year when he was reportedly attacked and was subject to a series of offensive remarks. Controversy has since lingered on this story, mostly due to new allegations that the entire attack was orchestrated and planned.
According to a report from Deadline, the allegations and story at large are having a tremendous impact on the series as a whole. While Smollett still remains a cast member on the series as of this writing, the writers are trimming Smollett’s number of scenes amidst the larger investigation. Meanwhile, they are not editing or changing any sequences that have already been filmed. The Chicago Police Department is looking to further question the actor about his role in the incident, including claims that he worked with two men to plan out the attack and the media aftermath of it.
In a statement, Smollett’s attorney strongly denied the allegations that he had any sort of active role in the incident:
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with. He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
The long-term future of Jussie on Empire is going to be likely determined by the end result of this investigation, and it’s hard to speculate too much on that one way or another. So far, most of his Empire cast members have been public in their support of him, but many within the entertainment industry have since taken a wait-and-see approach when it comes to the end result of the investigation. There could be more information that comes out this week, but this is also not something that should necessarily be rushed. The most important thing that comes out of this investigation is that the results are wholly accurate.
Empire season 5 will return with new episodes a little bit later this spring. If you are interested in reading some more news, you can do so over at the link here.
As always, we welcome your thoughts on this particular story below. Given the sensitive nature of the story, we ask that you remain respectful to the multiple viewpoints that are out there. (Photo: Fox.)