Jussie Smollett will not be returning to Empire for the finale.
The 37-year-old actor – who played musician Jamal Lyon in the drama – was accused of having orchestrated a racist and homophobic attack on himself back in January, and although he had the case against him dropped in March, he filed a petition for malicious prosecution, claiming officials created the narrative and it has cost him hugely.
As a result, Fox confirmed there were “no plans” for him to return to the show, with his last appearance in June.
However, showrunner Brett Mahoney claimed in December that they were in talks with the Alien: Covenant star to bring him back for the final episodes set to air in May.
It has now been confirmed by Fox’s Entertainment President, Michael Thorn, that the actor will not be reprising his role.
He told TVLine: “We’re not going to bring Jussie back to the show.”
He then elaborated that there were “many factors” to the “hard decision”, but ultimately they didn’t want the “controversy surrounding Jussie to overshadow the show”.