The road is cleared for Jussie Smollett's return to "Empire."
According to several production sources, the authors of "Empire" are currently breaking their ideas for the sixth and final season of the Fox show, with the expectation that Smollett will emerge the back half of the 18-episode season. Smollett was spelled out from the final episodes of season five of the series after the actor and musician had faked a hate crime against himself on charges.
The same sources also reported that the tensions between the squadrons increased. The show consists mainly of black performers who still consider Smollett innocent, and the mostly white crew, many of whom blame Smollett. The hope is that in the inter-season break, these tensions may have diminished if Smollett returns, but no final decisions have been made on his return.
Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television declined to comment.
The new development follows a letter written by the April series cast and mailed to several Fox executives and series producers. "Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and demand that our co-star, brother, and friend be returned to our sixth season of" Empire, "the letter said. It was signed by "Empire" stars Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Bryshere Y. Gray, Tray Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Nicole Ari Parker.
When the renewal of season six was announced in April, Fox Entertainment and 20th Century announced Fox Television said they had extended Smollett's option for season six, but that he did not intend to return. Two weeks later, Fox announced that the sixth season would be the last of the show. Prior to the events of that year, Smollett was one of the main characters of "Empire." His character, Jamal Lyon, is loosely based on Lee Daniels, co-creator of the series.
Smollett claimed he was the victim of an attack he committed. He said it was racially and politically motivated and homophobic. Later he was accused of hiring the men who had attacked him and charged with submitting false statements. The charges were dropped in March and Smollett has kept his innocence, but the city of Chicago has filed a $ 130,000 lawsuit against Smollett to offset the costs of the police investigation.
The documents in Smollett's case were originally sealed. However, one judge ordered the release of thousands of pages of documents on the case in May. Among the published documents were police statements made by the Osundario brothers who claimed that they had been paid by Smollett to carry out the attack, as well as SMS messages from the Cook County Procuratorate Kim Foxx.
As Variety Foxx has already been criticized for her work on the Smollett case. In the newly released news, Foxx describes how she has withdrawn from the case that she believes was based on the false assumption that she was related to Smollett.
Another batch of documents will be released later this week. About 70 hours of surveillance video and Bodycam material collected by Detectives from Chicago during the course of the investigation are also expected to be made public.