Amid the twists and turns of the investigation into the alleged attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett, the actor’s screen time on the Fox hit is being cut back.
Over the weekend, Chicago PD confirmed to EW that new evidence has “shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” with many outlets reporting that Smollett is now suspected of orchestrating the attack against him. Now, as Empire films its final few episodes of season 5, EW has learned that many of Smollett’s scenes are being rewritten and reduced.
While Fox had no comment when reached by EW, upcoming episodes are reportedly undergoing “serious rewrites” to reduce dramatic scenes and musical performances centered on Smollett’s Jamal Lyon.
This comes two days after Empire showrunner Brett Mahoney went on Twitter to defend the actor, saying, “I believe and stand by @JussieSmollett. Keep your head up.”
Reports last week that Smollett staged the apparent racial and homophobic attack because he was being killed off of Empire were quickly shot down by Fox and the entire creative team. All that being said, Empire‘s big season 5 story line has been centered on a flash forward and a mystery death.
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