‘Empire’ Boss Says ‘There Were Many Points of View’ Before Deciding Jussie Smollett Won’t Return for Finale

The final season of Empire is about to come to a close. Jussie Smolett won’t be returning for the finale to wrap up his character. Find out what one of the bosses of the show had to say about the discussions around the decision and more.

Jussie Smollett was fired from ‘Empire’

Jussie Smollett and A.Z. Kelsey in 'Empire'
Jussie Smollett and A.Z. Kelsey in ‘Empire’ | FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Smollett was charged with a felony disorderly conduct for filing a false report due to being accused of staging a hate crime attack on himself. The charges were dropped which made his future on Empire unclear.

There were many rumors that Smollett would be returning to the show. Empire creator, Lee Daniels addressed them on Twitter. “This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire,” he tweeted.

Empire eventually did come back and it was revealed that Jamal would be away with his husband, Kai (Toby Onwumere.) Terrence Howard talked about not being happy about this exit.

“I mean the show kicked off because I took my 4-year-old son and put him in the trash can because he had worn high heel shoes down on the stairs,” Howard said on the Late Late Show with James Corden. “I was so proud of that young man that played my son because he still loved me at the end of it. And all he wanted to do was get closer to me.” He wasn’t the only actor to share his love for him.

Vivica A. Fox previously teased fans might see him before the end of the show

Fans were recently teased that Smollett might return as his character. That’s because Vivica A. Fox was being coy about a possible appearance.

“I love him,” she said on Watch What Happens Live. “And who knows? Don’t count him out. Y’all may see him.” Andy Cohen pressed for more by asking “On Empire?” Fox simply fluttered her eyelashes.

It looks like the final decision on the matter has been revealed. The actors are probably not happy with the news.

There were many points of view before making the decision

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Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn talked to TV Line about the series finale. He addressed the biggest question of whether Smollett would return.

“We’re not going to bring Jussie back to the show,” Thorn said. “There were a number of factors that went into the decision to not bring him back. There were many points of view about if he should come back or if he shouldn’t.”

He continued, “As hard as a decision as that was, for us — and when I say us I mean the network, the studio and the producers — it felt like it was in the best interests of the show and the cast.” Thorn added, “Our hope is that all of the controversy surrounding Jussie doesn’t overshadow the show.”

It was obvious that Howard and Fox weren’t the only ones hoping Smollett would be allowed back. The cast previously wrote an open letter saying they want him back. Time will soon reveal how the finale will play out with the remaining cast members. Empire will return to Fox later in 2020.