Jussie Smollett removed from “Empire”

CHICAGO, Ill. (NBC) – There is more fallout Friday for actor Jussie Smollett after his claims that he was the target of a hate crime.

The creators of the Fox drama “Empire” say they have written the 36-year-old actor out of the season’s final two episodes.

In a statement, Empire executive producers wrote: “The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. 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. 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.”

So far, neither Smollett nor his representatives have commented on the decision.

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