- Fox is weighing its options in regards to “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, Fox said in a statement to INSIDER Thursday.
- The actor was arrested Thursday and charged with filing a false police report and disorderly conduct.
- Fox had previously denied writing the actor out of the series and called it him a “consummate gentleman” on set.
Fox hasn’t made an official decision on the status of “Empire” star Jussie Smollett following his arrest Thursday morning.
“We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process,” 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said in a statement to INSIDER. “We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”
The 36-year-old actor, who plays Jamal Lyon on the Fox drama, turned himself in to Chicago police Thursday morning. He’s being charged with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report after alleging in January that he was attacked by two masked men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him. If Smollett is found guilty, he could get up to three years in prison.
On Tuesday, Fox released a statement denying reports that said Smollett was being written out of the series.
- Courtesy Chicago Police Department/Handout via REUTERS
“Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” the studio said.
In a press conference Thursday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollet staged the attack as a “publicity stunt.”
“To stage a hate crime of that nature, when he knew as a celebrity it would get a lot of attention … is just despicable,” Johnson said at a news conference.
Johnson said the actor wasn’t pleased with his salary.
A source told HuffPost that Smollett earned $65,000 per episode.