TV series 'Empire' is inching towards its sixth season but the makers have no plans to include Jussie Smollett in the latest season. In a statement released on Tuesday, Fox cleared the same.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Fox in a statement said, "By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for season 6, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire."
Jussie Smollett is facing the backlash for a lawsuit filed against him. The suit comes after he was charged with 16 felony counts for orchestrating an attack on himself in January.
Earlier, Smollett's co-stars penned a letter to the producers and network executives urging for the actor's return to the show.
The letter read, "We must stand together as a family. A family is there for us in good times and bad. It can cut through the noise and confusion to understand that there is a person in the center of all this who deserves nothing more than to move forward with his life."
"We understand that this show is a business. And that business matters to us as well. We are confident our fans will welcome our 'Jamal' back into the Empire family as enthusiastically as we will," it added further.
Smollett is known for the playing Jamal Lyon in the show. The series has the record of being the third most entertaining series overall, preceded by 'The Masked Singer' and '911'. The show is Fox's second highest rated for the 2018-19 ratings.
After the investigations, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts by the city of Chicago. However, the charges were dropped as he forfeited USD 10,000 and agreed to do some community service.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson criticised the dropping of charges.
Later, Jussie was sued by the city of Chicago for USD 130,000 in order to recover the costs incurred during his investigations.
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