Nolte: Jussie Smollett Booted from ‘Empire’

Fox TV announced late Tuesday that Jussie Smollet will not be returning for Empire's sixth season.
Chuck Hodes/20th Century Fox Television

Fox TV announced late Tuesday that Jussie Smollett will not be returning for Empire’s sixth season.

Fox did keep its options open by renewing the extension on his contract, but this is very bad news for America’s Gay Tupac.

“By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire,” the Fox statement read.

A Smollett representative also released a statement: “We’ve been told that Jussie will not be on ‘Empire’ in the beginning of the season but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open,” the statement said. “Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and ‘Empire’ leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support.”

One wonders if he is getting paid for episodes he will not appear in.

Although Kim Foxx, Cook County’s corrupt city attorney with deep ties to Barack Obama’s shady Chicagoland, dropped all 16 felony counts against Smollett, the scandal is far from over for the 36-year-old who orchestrated a hate crime hoax earlier this year.

Back in January, Smollett claimed he had been attacked by two masked, white Donald Trump supporters in subzero weather at around 2 a.m. Smollett, who is black and gay, told police the two men hurled racial and homophobic slurs, assaulted him, poured white bleach on his black skin, wrapped a noose around his neck, and shouted “This is MAGA country!”

Somehow, these two white guys, who were fully prepared with bleach and a noose, knew that Smollett would make a fast food run in the middle of the night, or they are the kind of dedicated racists willing to sit outside all night in below zero weather on the off-off-off chance their prey will get a craving for a sandwich and discover he doesn’t have the fixings at home.

Unfortunately for Smollett, the Chicago police were determined to find the perpetrators, and did in the person of Abe and Ola Osundairo, two brothers who are black, and…

Who have credibly claimed they are, in fact, not two dedicated racists willing to sit outside in below zero weather hoping their intended target gets a hankerin’ for a cold cut combo. Rather, the two brothers say Smollett paid them $3500 to stage the hate crime.

To back up this claim, police found the canceled $3500 check, established a previous relationship between the brothers and Smollett, and even found video of Abe and Ola Osundairo purchasing red hats that they say were intended to stand in for the Make America Great Again hats worn by Trump supporters.

Interestingly enough, Smollett and his attorneys now claim Abe and Ola Osundairo are responsible for the hate crime but have yet to explain why Smollett fingered them as white guys.

The Empire star might have been able to use his celebrity and political privilege to extricate himself from a criminal justice jackpot, but he is a long way from putting PR nightmare in the rear view.

The city of Chicago is suing Gay Tupac for the cost of the investigation ($130,000), the Osundairos are suing Smollett’s attorneys for continuing to accuse them of committing a hate crime, and the court of public opinion has returned a guilty verdict.

This has resulted in a massive ratings crash for Empire, which used to be one of the hottest shows on television. While it’s true the show had cooled prior to the scandal, there is no question Smollett’s hoax took a toll on audience goodwill.

For example: in a world where Smollett did not orchestrate a hate crime, the episode where his character gets gay-married would have seen a ratings boost. In the real world, the ratings took a nosedive.

There is just no question Smollett is not only a national pariah and punch-line, but that the public see him as a legitimately bad guy, a shameless liar willing to put our country through hell for his own mercenary purposes.

Anyway, my guess is that the only way we see Gay Tupac on Empire again (or anything) is if his return can be spun as a triumphant one after some miracle happens that proves he truly was the victim of a hate crime by a couple of black/white guys.

 Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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