Jussie Smollett has been dropped from the remainder of Empire‘s fifth season.
Producers of the show announced Friday that they hoped to “avoid further disruption on set” by cutting the actor from the final two episodes of the season.
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“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us,” the team added in a statement, Deadline reports. “Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out.”
They added, “We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.”
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Smollett was arrested Thursday and charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false report, a felony, after police claim the actor staged his January 29 attack.
The actor has denied the allegations, with his lawyers releasing a statement claiming Smollett is “angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with.”
Following his arrest, 20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment stated that they are “evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”
TOPICS: EmpireJussie Smollett