Fox May Cancel “Empire” Over Jussie Smollett Scandal (REPORT)

Jussie Smollett Hoax
LOS ANGELES - MAR 12: Jussie Smollett at the "Empire" ATAS Screening and Panel at the The Theater at the Ace Hotel on March 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, CA - Image (Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com)

“Empire” could get canceled by Fox TV over the lead actor Jussie Smollett’s alleged hoax scandal, TMZ reports

According to TMZ, there is no news yet regarding sixth season renewal for the hit hip-hop drama series, which is unusual because Fox has almost always renewed the show by March.

“We’re told people who’ve been working on the show for years are griping they should’ve heard the news one way or another by now, and expected to get word on the fate of the show around two weeks ago,” TMZ reports.

That said, this is just a rumor. Last season, Fox waited a long time to renew “Empire.” It is important to note; the show started to drop in ratings. Only five to six million tuned in last season compared to the 16 to 17 million who watched the first season.

Smollett is charged with 16 felonies. Police say the 36-year-old actor orchestrated a hate crime against himself. Last January, Smollett told police he was assaulted by two white men in red hats who poured bleach on him and wrapped a noose around his neck. He claims they yelled, “This is MAGA country!”

Police say two black men confessed to attacking Smollett, but the actor paid them $3,500 to do so.

TMZ also reports “even if Fox does renew the show, higher-ups have expressed serious reservations about Jussie returning … as have many folks on the cast and crew … even some who have publicly supported him.”

Fox has removed Smollett from the last few episodes of season five, and there are now talks of replacing his character with another actor or writing him out of the show altogether.

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