Jussie Smollett is to be removed from two Empire episodes after “very disturbing” allegations he faked a racist and homophobic attack.
The hit show’s producers say the actor’s character will be taken out of the final two editions of the current season “to avoid further disruption on set”.The executive producers of the Twentieth Century Fox show said in a statement: “The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us.
“Jussie has been an important member of our EMPIRE family for the past five years and we care about him deeply.
“While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out.
“We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.
“Smollett, who is gay and black, has been charged with making a false report to police that he had been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago, where the show is filmed.
Police accuse him of faking the alleged assault in order to promote his career and get a salary increase for his role on the hit US music industry drama.