They’re in his corner. Several cast members of Fox’s Empire sent a letter to the CEO of Fox Entertainment, among others, stating that Jussie Smollett should be allowed to come back for the next season of the series, according to Deadline. “Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of Empire,” the letter unequivocally began.
All charges against the 36-year old actor, who was accused of filing a false police report and staging an assault he reported to Chicago police in January, were dropped on March 26. The letter requested that Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier, Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chair Dana Walden, Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn, Empire co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and several executive producers on the series bring Smollett back after he was removed from the last two episodes of the show this season.
The letter was signed by Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Nicole Ari Parkers. It read, in part, “We understand the past months have been difficult to process — sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal.”
The statement continued, “Throughout Empire’s five seasons working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all, he is filled with integrity. He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped. We are confident in his lawyer’s assurance that the case was dismissed because it would not have prevailed.”
The letter also noted Smollett’s activism with the Black AIDS Institute, the Rainbow Push Coalition, the Trevor Project and the City Lights Orchestra. The letter ended, “Now, more than ever, we must stand together as a family. A family is there for us in good times and bad … We are confident our fans will welcome our “Jamal” back into the Empire family as enthusiastically as we will. That is why we write today to ask you to keep Jussie on the cast so that we can all put this behind us and move forward. Thank you for taking the time to hear us. It’s our hope that together we will move into our sixth season as the entire Empire family should.”
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