“Empire” executives removed Jussie Smollett from the last two episodes of the show’s fifth season.
The executives released a collective statement Friday saying they wanted to avoid any further disruption on set and have “decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.”
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) February 22, 2019
The executives noted that the past couple of weeks have been emotional for the cast and stated, “Jussie has been an important member of our EMPIRE family and we care about him deeply.”
This statement comes after Smollett was spotted on the “Empire” set Thursday after being released on bond to film the “penultimate episode” of Season 5.
Smollett has repeatedly denied all allegations of orchestrating the attack during his court hearing.
In a statement to Fox News, Smollett’s legal team said, “Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.”
Smollett’s legal team also accused Chicago Police of denying Smollett due process. They claim the nation “witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system.” (RELATED: Jussie Smollett Arrested After Alleged ‘MAGA’ Hoax)
Smollett is expected back in court on March 14.