How will ‘Empire’ handle Jussie Smollett’s character’s departure? | TribLIVE.com
Movies/TV

How will ‘Empire’ handle Jussie Smollett’s character’s departure?

1521060_web1_SmolletArrival
AP
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court Building for his hearing on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Chicago. His character will be on his honeymoon during the series’ upcoming final season.

Although it was officially announced that FX’s popular hip-hop series “Empire” was ending its final season, no one really knew how the Lee Daniels-created drama would handle the departure of one of its biggest stars.

In the aftermath of the legal woes surrounding Jussie Smollett following accusations he fabricated a hate crime against himself in January, Daniels announced in June that he will not be returning for the show’s sixth season, which is set to premiere Sept. 24.

So what will happen to the openly gay R&B singer Jamal Lyon, the character Smollett has played since the show’s January 2015 debut?

“He’s on his honeymoon!” Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said Wednesday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “Lee has spoken a lot about this situation and this story will reflect it.”

“You’ll see pictures of him in the background.,” he added. “He’s on his honeymoon in the storyline. Lee and the team have talked a lot about what they’re going to do, and there are some surprises at the beginning of this season that you’re going to love. And I really think ‘Empire’ is going to go out just on a high.”

When asked why the network extended Smollett’s contract despite his widely publicized legal ordeal, Collier said Fox wanted to properly assess the situation before making a decision about his future with “Empire.”

Smollett, 37, was indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for filing an alleged false police report, though all charges were eventually dropped by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

The decision is currently being reviewed by a special prosecutor, including the actions of Foxx, who came under fire for squelching the controversial case.

Categories: AandE | Movies TV
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.