Jussie Smollett: 'Empire' Considers Removing Actor Following Indictment

Fox is reportedly considering removing Jussie Smollett from production of Empire.

The actor was charged late Wednesday with a felony for allegedly filing a false police report, and now sources revealed that producers are considering whether to take Smollett out of the series altogether as the investigation continues, Variety reports.

Back on Jan. 29, Smollett claimed he was attacked by two men who poured an unknown chemical on him, put a rope around his neck and used racial and homophobic slurs. Chicago P.D. later questioned two brothers, Abel and Ola Osundairo, who were considered persons of interest in the incident.

The men claimed after they were arrested that the actor had paid them to stage the attack, which led police to switch gears in the investigation.

After the brothers testified before a grand jury Wednesday, the Cook County State Attorney's office filed official charges against Smollett.

"Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report," Chicago P.D. Chief Communications Officer Guglielmi wrote on Twitter Thursday. "Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest."

Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. CT on Thursday. A production source told the outlet that as of Wednesday night there would be no change in the Fox drama series' shooting schedule.

Fox had previously stood by the actor, issuing two statements of support as the investigation continued, and also serving to discount reports the actor was set to be fired from Empire before the attack happened.

"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 morning.

Reports Tuesday claimed the show's writers were working on some last minute changes to the show to cut Smollett's scenes.

According to TMZ, Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, was suppose to appear in nine upcoming scenes, along with a big musical number in the second to last episode, which is currently being shot. However, his scenes have been cut down to four — where he will not longer be the main focus of — and the musical number is gone completely.


No word yet on how the charges brought against Smollett will affect his presence on the series moving forward.

Empire is scheduled to return with new episodes starting Wednesday, March 13, on Fox.