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Jussie Smollett could return for ‘Empire’ finale: showrunner



Actor Jussie Smollett, who was written out of the Fox series “Empire” after claiming he was beaten up by men who yelled “This is MAGA country!” and put a noose around his neck, may be returning to the Fox melodrama for its series finale next year.

Showrunner Brett Mahoney told TV Line that the show is in discussions with Smollett, who has not worked since last June, when series creator Lee Daniels put a stop to that, via Twitter, saying, “Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire.”

“It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this family drama of which he was such a significant part of without seeing him,” Mahoney says. “It’s fair to say it’s being discussed, but there’s no plan as of yet to bring him back. There’s been no decision made.”

Smollett, who had played Lucious’ (Terrence Howard) son Jamal since the show started in 2015, was written out of later Season 5 episodes after the media storm regarding his experience with the Chicago police, who determined that his original claim was a fabrication. Smollett was charged with filing a false report and, while they were later dropped, Smollett’s run on “Empire” was presumably over.

While the network extended his contract when the show was renewed for its final season last May, it said there were “no plans” to bring him back, according to TV Line.



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