Jussie Smollett has been axed from the final two episodes of Empire just one day after he was arrested for a felony, RadarOnline.com can report.
Empire producers released a joint statement to Radar announcing their decision on Friday, February 22.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply,” the show’s executive producers said.
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“While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out. We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.”
The announcement comes on the heels of Fox television network’s statement on Wednesday, Feb. 20 that he would not be written off of the show.
Smollett was arrested on Thursday, February 21 with one felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. The actor claimed he was a victim of a “race hate” attack after being attacked by two brothers on January 29.
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The brothers reportedly worked on the set of Empire. They were initially arrested and released earlier this month. Smollett is accused of paying the brothers $3,500 to stage the violence.
Chicago police officials claimed Smollett’s motivation to allegedly commit the crime was due to his dissatisfaction with his salary.
He claimed the brothers beat him and placed a noose around his neck before dumping a chemical substance on him.
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The felony carries a maximum prison sentence of three years.
What do you think of the Empire producers’ decision to remove Smollett’s character from the last two episodes? Sound off in the comments.
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