‘Empire’: Terrence Howard Said It’s Not Cool Jussie Smollett Isn’t Mentioned in the Show’s Return

Empire had a lot of drama recently due to Jussie Smollett being at the center of a scandal. Now it’s back for its final season. Smollett won’t return to his role of Jamal Lyon.

Terrence Howard was asked about how the cast felt about the situation. He said it’s not cool that his character isn’t mentioned in the show’s return. Find out his reason for this and more.

Jussie Smollett isn’t returning to ‘Empire’

Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett and Terrence Howard on 'Empire'
Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett and Terrence Howard on ‘Empire’ FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Smollett previously claimed he was a victim of a hate crime. It was investigated and he was later accused of making up the incident.

There were reports that Smollett was returning to the show. Empire creator, Lee Daniels addressed this rumor.

“This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire,” Daniels tweeted. This is after the cast of the show wrote an open letter to defend Smollett.

“He is honest and above all, he is filled with integrity,” the letter claimed. “He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped. We are confident in his lawyer’s assurance that the case was dismissed because it would not have prevailed.”

Cast members Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe, and Nicole Ari Parker were part of the open letter.

Jamal Lyon will stay in London with Kai

Last season showed Jamal and Kai (Toby Onwumere) getting married. This gave an opportunity for the writers to not have the character back for the last season.

Jamal is taking a sabbatical from the family,” showrunner Brett Mahoney told TV Line. “He doesn’t want to be caught up in Lyon family drama, which is very much in keeping with his point of view last season — that [the family business] should be something that the family moves away from.”

The showrunner added, “Jamal and Kai have decided to stay in London.” The actors are still talking about working without their former co-star. One of them isn’t happy about it.

Terrence Howard said it’s not cool that his character isn’t mentioned

Howard talked about what it’s like for the show to go on without Jamal. He mentioned the importance of the character.

“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,” he 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.”

The actor went on to say, “And then, out of nowhere, you know, he’s snatched away from us. So it’s like now he was the heart of our show and now it’s like our show is on a heart and lung bypass machine.”

Howard doesn’t seem to agree with how the character is written out of the show. “That was my little boy and he’s gone now and they don’t mention him as if it’s OK. And it’s, like, no. That’s not cool.”

It seems like some of the cast members are hurt that the show is ending without Smollett. Time will tell if fans will feel the same way.