“Empire” creator Lee Daniels would not say one way or another whether disgraced actor Jussie Smollett will be back for the next season of the show following his alleged hate crime hoax scandal.
“I know. That’s a conversation. That’s the conversation that we’re having right now,” the television writer and director shared when asked if the 36-year-old actor would be in the next season of the show, according to a video shared by TMZ Tuesday. (RELATED: Jussie Smollett’s Episode of ‘Drop The Mic’ Has Been Pulled)
When pressed further on how the cast was dealing with the variety of reports about Smollett and if those “mixed emotions” about the actor would help them make a decision, Daniels didn’t answer the question. Instead, the director started talking about how there are “two judges,” and he isn’t one of them. (RELATED: Police Chief ‘Furious’ At Smollett Case Dismissal)
“I feel that there are two judges, God and that man in a robe,” the producer explained when asked if he felt he had been “scammed” by the actor. “So I can’t judge. You know what I mean?” (Realted: Jussie Smollett Vacations in Hawaii After Charges Dropped)
The outlet tried to get further indication if it was “looking good” for Smollett’s return, but the producer would only say that “we’re in conversations right now” and that fans could expect next season to “be bombastic.” (RELATED: Charges Against Jussie Smollett Dropped)
As previously reported, Smollett initially claimed he was attacked on the streets of his home in Chicago by two men who he said threw a rope around his neck and poured a bleach-like substance on him. They also reportedly yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him.
By the end of the investigation, however, police concluded the attack on the “Empire” star was a hoax. Soon after, he was arrested and faced 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for making a false police report.
Then, last month, all charges against him were dropped by the State Attorney’s office.