“Jussie [Smollett] will NOT be returning to ‘Empire,'” the Fox series co-creator Lee Daniels announced Tuesday.
We can thank fake news for finally getting this matter settled. Before Lee Daniels tweeted out the long-awaited verdict on Smollett’s return, the left-wing Variety falsely reported that Smollett would return for Empire’s sixth and final season.
Daniels quickly fact-checked Variety on Twitter:
— lee daniels (@leedanielsent) June 4, 2019
Smollett’s fate had been in flux for the last couple of months. After the series was renewed for a final 18 episode season, Fox Entertainment picked up the option on the hate crime hoaxster’s contract, which left the door open for him to return after being written out of the last few episodes of season five.
After felony charges were filed against Smollett by the Chicago police for staging a fake hate crime, Smollett was written out of the show. Then, after Chicago’s corrupt Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx shocked everyone by dropping all the charges (she is currently facing allegations surrounding her many conflicts of interest), the Empire producers and Fox seemed to want to keep their options open as far as bringing Smollett back into the fold. My guess is everyone hoped against hope Smollett would be miraculously vindicated, but that is unlikely now that a judge has ordered all the relevant records surrounding the Smollett investigation to be publicly released.
What’s more, the city of Chicago has filed a $130,000 lawsuit against Smollett to recoup the cost of the hate crime investigation. This could lead to more court appearances and even testimony — which, of course, means more negative publicity. Later this week, another batch of documents will be released along with dozens of hours of bodycam and surveillance footage.
Back in January, Smollett, who is black and gay, told police he had been attacked in downtown Chicago by two white men sporting Trump-supporting Make America Great Again hats. He further claimed the men tied a noose around his neck, poured bleach on his black skin, hurled racist and homophobic slurs, and shouted “This is MAGA country!”
You can read the full timeline of events here.
The police did a full investigation of the attack, which ended with Smollett’s arrest for filing a false police report.
According to police, Smollett hired two black friends, two brothers named Osundario, to stage the crime.
After both brothers confessed, Smollett then changed his story with the absurd claim it was the brothers who committed this hate crime against him, even though he originally claimed his attackers were white.
Also looming are possible mail fraud charges — which are federal. Prior to the January “hate crime,” Smollett received hate mail that contained a harmless white powder. If he sent that letter to himself, that’s a federal crime and the last we heard the investigation is ongoing.
Jussie Smollett, who had a big role on an iconic TV series, has completely blown up a career that had a real future. But he revealed his true character with this fake hate crime, something that could have caused all kinds of tension, strife, and even violence. And he did it because he hates Trump and was reportedly hoping being a high-profile victim would bump his public profile, which would mean a raise in his Empire pay, which was already over six figures per episode.
Now his career is finished. Smollett is a national joke whose only hope of employment is to allow himself to be exploited as a sideshow freak in some straight-to-DVD dreck looking to turn Smollett’s status as a pariah into free publicity.