What’s Next for Empire After Jussie Smollett Case?

What’s Next for Empire After Jussie Smollett Case?

Fans of the hit show Empire were shocked when news broke that one of its stars, Jussie Smollett had been the victim of an attack that was carried out for apparently racist and homophobic reasons. However, they were even more shocked when rumors began to circulate that Smollett himself may have been the one who organized the attack in the first place. He was charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false report about a month after the alleged attack took place.

These revelations put the bosses of Empire in a difficult position, not least because Smollet had been a major figure in the show since the very first season. He obviously had a very close working relationship with everyone on the show. They had all jumped to support him when the news of the attack first broke and they must have found it quite hard to believe that it was not actually true. When he was first charged, prosecutors said that the whole reason for the fake attack being carried out was to raise his profile which would potentially lead to a pay rise for his work on Empire. Again this must have been something that people involved with the show found hard to believe about their colleague and friend.

Smollet was suspended by Empire as soon as the charges against him were announced. The final two episodes are still in production and it has been confirmed that his character, Jamal, will not feature in these episodes. Up until this point he had been defended by the production team and by the network and a statement was released stating that he would still continue to be part of the show.

Empire is still a very popular show and there is no reason to think that it will not be renewed for a sixth season. Whether Smollett acts on the show again remains to be seen. If he is found guilty of the charges then it should be assumed that his suspension will turn into a firing. However, the situation will be less clear if he is found not guilty. While there would be no reason for him not to return, there is a good chance that the allegations that have been made against him would lead to a certain degree of mistrust that could be hard to get over.

Smollet has always maintained that he is innocent of all the charges that have been bought against him. The case for the prosecution seems to rest on the evidence of two brothers who were arrested as suspects in the original attack. They claimed that they were paid by Smollet to stage the attack and that he even gave them the money to buy the equipment that they needed such as the rope and the ski masks. Their version of events states that whole plot was an elaborate ruse to get Smollet a pay rise.

There does not seem to be any reason to doubt that Empire will continue to broadcast in the future. The only thing that could threaten any potential renewal would be if the viewing figures fell dramatically for the remaining episodes of season five. The show has just started again after its winter break. It is not very likely that fans will turn off from the show because of the actions of one individual. There is some anger from viewers about the whole situation but most of this anger seems to be directed towards Smollet himself rather than the show. The character of Jamal is one of the biggest in the show and so fans will be interested to see how the fact that he will be missing from the last two episodes is explained.

With everything that has happened since Jussie Smollet first claimed that he was attacked it may be that there is no way back for him when it comes to starring in Empire again. The show can not afford to ignore the way that fans feel and even if the production team were happy to have him back, this may not be enough. Empire stands a good chance of being renewed for a sixth season but there is a much bigger question over whether Smollet will be a part of it.

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