Empire actor Jussie Smollett is losing out on new opportunities in showbiz amid the scandal surrounding his alleged hate crime attack.
Smollett, who recently pleaded "not guilty" on his 16-count indictment, may not be living the Hollywood life anymore. According to TMZ, a source close to him said he was doing just fine with getting gigs prior to the alleged attack. After reports surfaced he was attacked, his phone rang off the hook with offers ranging from movie roles, TV gigs, commercials, and of course interview opportunities to address what happened that night.
After news surfaced that Smollett may have faked his own attack, his phone stopped ringing. Despite what swirling among the media, it's almost like Hollywood and fans are still waiting to see how this case pans out — almost as if there is a slight chance that he'll walk away being the hero most wanted him to be.
There may be a chance for that because the Chicago Police Department has launched an internal investigation out of concerns the force may have been leaking information, with a few claims by the Police Superintendent now being questioned. While this may aid in Smollett's case, it still doesn't help his future when it comes to work.
It's not just his career at stake, the future of the popular FOX show — which just returned for their mid-season premiere Wed. 13 — has come into question. Smollett was removed from the final two episodes but where the show will go from here, is up in the air.
Showrunner, Brett Mahoney, recently dished on the predicament and what everyone had to do behind the scenes to rework what was already written; however, there is an upside to the new change.
"It definitely was an unexpected wrench to have to take the character Jamal out of those final two episodes, just because he is an important part of the show," he said. "But, luckily, we have such a strong ensemble and so many stories to tell."
"So often when you get towards the end of the season, I have so much story to tell that sometimes having to take something out means having room for something else that I'm just as passionate about," he continued. "So we were able to make that work."
He furthered his statement by addressing the change as the "logical decision" for several reasons, but did clarify that it wasn't an easy one to make.
Since filming won't take up much — if any — time for Smollett, he will be busy traveling. After appearing in a Chicago courtroom this morning to enter the plea, he plans to return sometime in April.
He will be allowed to travel back and forth from Los Angeles and New York strictly to meet with his lawyers, but he will be required to give authorities at least a two days notice and must inform them when he gets back to the windy city within 24 hours of arrival.