“Less work for Jussie means more work for writers, who are busy making edits.”
UPDATE: Fox on Wednesday refuted TMZ’s report that Jussie Smollett’s scenes on “Empire” were being reduced from nine to four. But on Friday, Variety reported that Fox was considering removing Smollett from production altogether.
Jussie Smollett’s role on Fox’s “Empire” has been slashed as Chicago police investigate whether he lied about being attacked by Trump supporters, TMZ reported Tuesday.
Smollett was supposed to appear in nine scenes in the penultimate episode of Season 5, which is currently being filmed, but five of those scenes have been cut along with the actor’s musical number, according to the celebrity news website. Even in the remaining four scenes, TMZ said, Smollett would not longer be the focus.
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As a result, Smollett will not be rehearsing, and will only be on set Friday and possibly Thursday, the report said, adding that the writers’ room was scrambling to adjust the script.
“Less work for Jussie means more work for writers, who are busy making edits,” TMZ reported. “In the past 24 hours, we’re told the script has undergone multiple revisions.”
According to a report Monday by CBS Chicago, police suspect that Smollett, 36, staged the attack for attention.
“When the letter didn’t get enough attention, he concocted the staged attack,” a source told CBS 2, referring to a letter containing white powder that Smollett received on the set of “Empire”. Other sources reportedly corroborated that information.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi acknowledged Saturday that newly discovered information has “shifted the trajectory” of the probe, ABC reported. A grand jury will hear Smollett’s case next week, TMZ reported, though the site did not elaborate on who is facing charges or for what they might be.
Smollett was upset that a racist letter sent to him on the set of the show on Jan. 22 failed to get a “bigger reaction,” the local TV station reported, citing multiple sources with direct knowledge of the investigation. Smollett then paid two Nigerian-American brothers to attack him a week later, police reportedly suspect.
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If the report about Smollett’s motive is correct, the scheme worked, triggering credulous and outraged responses from the media, liberals, and leading Democrats. But as leaked evidence against Smollett has mounted, even the actor’s erstwhile defenders have backed away.
Still, Smollett has continued to play the victim. m
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