Jussie Smollett is not being written out of Empire, 20th Century Fox says.
Fox said in a statement Wednesday that Smollett "continues to be a consummate professional on set," and the network reiterated that he's "not being written out of the show." This followed reports from Deadlineand TMZ that Smollett was having his role on Empire reduced. When these reports first emerged, Fox declined to comment.
Still, the original reports did not exactly claim that Smollett was being written out of the series entirely. Rather, the reporting was that his role was being minimized, with TMZ saying that scenes focused on Smollett were being cut but that the actor would still have a presence in ensemble scenes.
These questions about Smollett's future come as questions emerge about his claims that he was the victim of a hate crime last month. CNN has reported that Chicago police believe he paid two men to assault him, while Smollett continues to deny these claims. Brendan Morrow