“What about MAGA?”
Jussie Smollett could be removed from production on “Empire,” sources told Variety.
According to the Hollywood trade magazine, the producers of the Fox TV show have been considering suspending the actor since he was charged with filing a false police report on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the series, declined to comment.
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Smollett turned himself over to police Thursday on a felony charge of filing a false police report. Chicago police, a judge, and President Donald Trump took turns publicly lambasting Smollett for allegedly orchestrating a fake racist attack against himself as a “publicity stunt.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2019
According to police, the actor was dissatisfied with the salary he was making on “Empire” and wanted more attention.
Even Smollett’s halfhearted defenders, like CNN anchor Don Lemon, have admitted that Smollett has lost public support.
Fox has so far stood by Smollett. The company issued two statements of support during the investigation of his reported attack and denied reports of plans to fire him or cut his appearances.
“Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said in a statement Wednesday.
“Empire” executive producer Danny Strong last week vouched for Smollett’s value to the show.
There is 0% truth that @JussieSmollett was going to be written off of Empire. This rumor is totally false. He is the third lead and one of the most beloved characters on the show. Writing him off the show has NEVER even been discussed.
— Danny Strong (@Dannystrong) February 15, 2019
Variety quoted a “knowledgeable source” as saying that Fox expected Smollett to stay on the series, but the magazine noted that the actor’s professional status could change with his legal fortunes.
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- Jussie Smollett.: Courtesy