'Empire' EPs Pull Jussie Smollett Character From Show

The executive producers of Fox's Empire have scrubbed Jussie Smollett's character Jamal from the final two episodes of the show's season, Fox announced Friday.

Smollett was arrested by the Chicago Police Department Thursday on felony charges for disorderly conduct in filing a false police report.

The actor and singer filed a police report Jan. 29 that alleged he was beaten by two men in Chicago. The Chicago Police Department has said that Smollett staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the show.

“The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us," said Empire executive producers Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer in a statement. "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."

Smollett has maintained that he is not guilty of the charges.

"Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing,” his legal team said in a statement released Thursday.

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.