Jussie Smollett’s ‘Empire’ character will not return for final two episodes of season

Posted at 11:23 AM, Feb 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-22 11:24:28-05

Jussie Smollett

Embattled actor Jussie Smollett’s tenure on TV’s “Empire” is in jeopardy.

In a statement released Friday morning, the Fox show’s executive producers said Smollett’s character on “Empire” will be removed from the final two episodes of the season. They say it was done to avoid “further disruption on set,” adding that other cast and crew members have been affected by the situation.

The statement did not indicate if Smollett’s character Jamal would be back next season.

Smollett was arrested Thursday after police say he falsely claimed to be the victim of a hate crime last month. Authorities allege Smollett paid two men to stage the attack to try and help his career.

According to someone at an “Empire” cast and crew meeting Thursday night, Smollett apologized for any embarrassment he may have caused.

He continues to deny the allegations.

Related: Hampton Roads community reacts to Jussie Smollett case