Whether it be genuine concern about Jussie Smollett and the notion of fairness, or a careful calculation by interested parties to drive more ratings success toward the show, it’s clear the Empire cast members don’t want Jussie’s character on the cutting room floor.
TMZ reports cast members Taraji P. Henson and Terence Howard are lobbying to keep Jussie’s character in the storyline. We’re also told most of the cast is in agreement and want him back for season six. However, as you may know, Fox has already announced their plan to write Jussie’s character out for next season with no plans to bring him back.
It looks like a standoff of sorts has developed between producers of Empire and its powerful veteran cast members. Who will win out? Since the 16 felony counts were dropped against the star, the dynamics of his situation have drastically changed, and many now see a light at the end of the tunnel.
If he makes it through the civil suit the City of Chicago filed without a damning judgment rendered, Jussie Smollett could actually conclude this experience with a legitimate claim of victory. Though Jussie has yet to explain why he was dancing in the rain with his buddies that night, he still hasn’t admitted to anything. Perhaps that’s why Fox granted Jussie a contract extension through the next season, even though it’s vowed not to have him appear on the show.
The wait and see approach is an acknowledgment of just how huge Jussie’s character is for the show, and a calculated game they still all play. We’ll be watching the developments to see exactly what moves get made.
Until the next time it drips….