As Red State‘s Elizabeth Vaughn wrote this morning, actor Jussie Smollett pleaded with castmates yesterday to not believe the felony criminal charges that have been filed against him.
But a new report out today from TMZ indicates that his attempts to maintain the support of the “Empire” cast and crew aren’t working:
Jussie Smollett betrayed the trust of his “Empire” coworkers and damaged the show’s image, and now several cast members want him written off immediately … according to our sources.
We’re told many of the “Empire” actors are “f**king furious” and feel if FOX honchos don’t fire Jussie, he should quit on his own … because he doesn’t deserve a spot on the hit show.
The feelings of animosity stem from the fact everyone on set had Jussie’s back after the “attack,” but in light of the new evidence police have laid out … many of them feel hurt and embarrassed.
Worse yet for Smollett, “Empire” producers are taking steps to remove the character “Jamal” from the show, just a few days after expressing solidarity with him:
Jussie Smollett’s character has been removed from the final two episodes of the upcoming season of Fox’s “Empire,” the show’s executives said Friday.
“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our EMPIRE family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out,” co-creators Lee Daniels and Brett Mahoney and executive producers Danny Strong, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer told Fox News.
“We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season,” the statement continued.
In a news conference yesterday, the Chicago PD laid out their case against the actor, and blasted his attempt at using the sensitive issue of race to manipulate people for financial gain.
As transcribed by Red State‘s Jennifer Van Laar:
“This morning I come to you not only as the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, but also as a black man who spent his entire life living in the City of Chicago. This announcement today recognizes that Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.
“I’m left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile? How could an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?”
The disgraced actor could face up to three years in prison if convicted, which would kind of force the issue with “Empire” producers, anyway.
—Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–