Empire actor Jussie Smollett will not appear in the final two episodes of the show’s fifth season.
Smollett was arrested and charged by Chicago police earlier in the week for allegedly faking the hate crime attack against him in January.
As a result, the executive producers of Empire said, “…to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of Jamal from the final two episodes of the season.” It’s unclear, however, whether the character will be written out permanently, or if Smollett will be replaced.
In a press conference on Thursday, Chicago police claimed Smollett orchestrated the attack because he was ‘dissatisfied with his salary” on Empire. Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said the scratches and bruises on the actor were “most likely self-inflicted,” and that he sent himself a threatening letter in the days leading up to the attack.
Smollett was released from Cook county jail after posting bond of $100,000 and surrendering his passport.