Despite issuing a statement saying Fox would continue to stand behind actor Jussie Smollett, Empire producers have “drastically cut” Smollett’s scenes after his MAGA attack story backfired on him.
Smollett is pictured above left with Empire co-star Bryshere “Yazz” Gray in a photo dated May 17, 2017.
Last week, Chicago police sources told a local reporter that they believed the actor faked his attack because his character was being cut out of Empire.
But Empire scriptwriters took to Twitter.com to vehemently deny reports that their star was being cut from the show.
Now those same writers are “scrambling” to revise scripts to delete Smollett’s scenes.
According to TMZ, Empire producers have cut many scenes featuring the actor in the upcoming season.
The openly homosexual actor, who plays singer-songwriter Jamal Lyon, had a big musical extravaganza with many scenes in the second-to-last episode of Season 5, production sources told TMZ.
But those scenes and his big musical performance have been cut according to the gossip blog.
Smollett’s character is no longer the focus of his remaining four scenes, which will now feature an ensemble of characters, according to TMZ.
The gossip blog says Empire scriptwriters have been “scrambling over the last 24 hours to revise this season’s scripts” to eliminate any mention of the disgraced actor.
Smollett, 36, is spending far less time on the set as a result of his cut scenes.
Smollett told police that two men attacked him and called him racist and homophobic slurs as he left a Subway restaurant at 2 a.m. during a bone-chilling polar vortex on January 29.
But police were skeptical of Smollett’s story from the very beginning. Investigators now believe Smollett staged the attack with two brothers after they mailed an “anthrax letter” to the Fox Chicago studio that failed to get the response from the news media that Smollett was expecting.
A grand jury will hear evidence against Smollet on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Smollett could be charged with felonies including making a false report to police, sending a threatening letter through the US Postal Service, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
He faces a minimum of 5 years behind bars.