‘Empire’: The Cast Reveals Why They Want Jussie Smollett to Continue Working on the Show in Open Letter
It’s still unknown whether Jussie Smollett will be written off Empire or continue his role of Jamal Lyon after his legal problems. The show returned with an important story point for his character, but the actor was previously written out of several episodes.
The cast is sticking by him. Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe, and Nicole Ari Parker wrote an open letter to FOX CEO, the co-creators of Empire, and more to defend Smollett. These are their reasons to keep him in the cast.
They want him back because the criminal charges were dropped
The letter begins to address Smollett’s previously being indicted with 16 counts of disorderly conduct then all the charges being dropped. The cast also say the actor is innocent.
“He is honest and above all, he is filled with integrity,” the letter reads according to Us Weekly. “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.”
His community service and attitude on set is mentioned
The actors also vouch for him by talking about what he does on and off the set. That includes his community service.
“Jussie has shown us on and off the set who he really is as a leader. In addition to being a caring friend and cast member who treats every crew member with love and respect, he has spent time with our families and individually supported each of us,” the letter reads.
It then goes into his personal work in the community. They mention his work with The Black AIDS Institute, the Rainbow Push Coalition, the City Lights Orchestra, the Trevor Project, adopting a school in Chicago, and worked with LGBTQ youth in South Africa.
They think the court of public opinion is unjust
Smollett has been scrutinized after claiming he was a victim of a hate crime, then accused of making a false police report. The cast addressed that later in the letter.
“It’s clearer every day that the extreme political climate in our country has only made our system of justice and the court of public opinion more unjust,” reads the letter.
It’s still unknown what will be decided. Co-creator Lee Daniels recently talked about what’s going on behind the show. “We are in discussions about that right now,” Daniels told Entertainment Tonight.
He also said that he has personally been in touch with Smollett. “I have had conversations with him and he is in a lot of pain,” he revealed. “If he is guilty, then I am worried about his mental health.”
It’s unknown what the response will be to the cast’s open letter. For now, Empire will seemingly continue to show Jamal this season.
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