THEY’LL be back on the small screen for a sixth sea­son, but JUSSIE SMOL­LETT won’t be re­join­ing the Em­pire cast. How­ever, the em­bat­tled ac­tor, who was charged for al­legedly stag­ing a racist and ho­mo­pho­bic hate crime in which he was the vic­tim, could re­turn to his role as Ja­mal Lyon for later sea­sons. The charges have since been dropped.

Em­pire’s mak­ers, Fox En­ter­tain­ment and 20th Cen­tury Fox Tele­vi­sion, said the de­ci­sion for Jussie not to re­turn was “mu­tual”.

“By mu­tual agree­ment the stu­dio has ne­go­ti­ated an ex­ten­sion to Jussie Smol­lett’s op­tion for sea­son 6, but at this time there are no plans for Ja­mal to re­turn to Em­pire,” the state­ment said.

The ex­ten­sion of his con­tract means the show has the op­tion to bring him back at a later stage. A spokespers­on for the ac­tor said he was “grate­ful to Fox and Em­pire lead­er­ship, cast, crew and fans for their un­wa­ver­ing sup­port”.

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