Jussie Smollett's "Empire" scenes reportedly cut back amid assault investigation


 // Feb 20, 2019

Kymmi Cee // REVOLT

In the weeks following "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett's alleged attack, the investigation has uncovered new evidence that has many feeling conflicted about what to think about the incident's reported events.

In the wake of the investigation's latest development, it has been reported that the show has decided to undergo a series of "serious rewrites" regarding the scenes centering on Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon. The show is currently filming the final remaining episodes of its fifth season.

Over the weekend, the Chicago Police Department confirmed that as a result of their reported findings, the new evidence has "shifted the trajectory of the investigation." Many outlets then began reporting that the 36-year-old may have played a role in orchestrating the attack, causing celebrities such as Cardi B to condemn the actor on social media.

As reported by Deadline, as a result of the ongoing investigation, the actor's screen time is now being cut back. While Fox has not yet commented on the matter, the remaining episodes are reportedly being rewritten in an effort to reduce the amount of dramatic scenes and musical performances involving Smollett.

On Feb. 17, showrunner Brett Mahoney went on Twitter to defend Smollett. "I believe and stand by @JussieSmollett. Keep your head up," he wrote.

Additionally, Fox previously shot down the rumors that Smollett staged his own racial and homophobic attack due to the decision to write his character off the show. The storyline of the fifth season, however, has revolved around a mystery death, adding fuel to the presumed motive behind the allegation Smollett played a role in the attack.

While the actor is not considered a formal suspect at the time of this report, law enforcement authorities are seeking an additional interview to learn more about his side of the story and his relationship with Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundair. The pair was initially identified as "potential suspects" and released from custody on Feb. 15.

At the time of this report, the "Empire" cast is back at work in Chicago. The show is set to return to Fox on March 13. The alleged hate crime is headed to the grand jury next week.

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