After previously standing by him, 20th Century Fox is now “considering its options” regarding “Empire” star Jussie Smollett.
Smollett was arrested Thursday morning and is facing felony charges for filing a false police report, relating to his allegedly staging a “hate crime” involving racist and homophobic slurs. The network released a statement Thursday addressing the star actor’s arrest. (RELATED: CNN Treats Jussie Smollett With Kid Gloves After He Becomes A Suspect)
“We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process,” Fox said. “We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”
“We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.” – STATEMENT FROM 20TH CENTURY FOX TELEVISION AND FOX ENTERTAINMENT
— 20th Century Fox TV (@20centuryfoxTV) February 21, 2019
20th Century Fox has steadfastly supported Smollett since the allegations surfaced, but appears to be changing its tune, at least partially, now that Smollett has been officially arrested. As recently as Wednesday, the network had praised Smollett as a “consummate professional,” and denied reports that his scenes were being cut out of the hit show. (RELATED: Trump Weighs In On Jussie Smollett’s Arrest)
The network, as well as mainstream media organizations, has faced intense criticism over its handling of the initial allegations made by Smollett in which the actor claimed that he was assaulted by supporters of President Donald Trump, who screamed “This is MAGA country” — a reference to Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”