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Now That ‘Empire’s’ Jamal Lyon Tied The Knot, What is Jussie Smollett’s Future With The Show? Cast Sends Letter Of Support

Photo: FOX

Looks like the writers and producers of Empire found a way to write out the character of Jamal Lyon permanently, or leave the door open if decisions are made to keep actor/singer Jussie Smollett (Jamal) on the series following his trouble with the law in Chicago stemming from faking a hate crime.  A crime that he had all charges dropped against him which has been shrouded in controversy, and has been a lightning rod on social media and the news.

On Wednesday night’s Empire, Jamal married Kai (Toby Onwumere) with Chaka Khan performing at the nuptials in an emotional episode. Even with the momentous TV occasion to see two gay black men getting hitched on network television, it was unfortunately overshadowed by all the behind the scenes drama.  For this season, Wednesday marked final episode for Smollett, who was cut out of the upcoming final two episodes of the season.  In story, the characters are sure to be on their honeymoon, and they could eventually wind up living in Europe, which would keep Jamal off the canvas.

The Fox network and creative personnel at Empire will need to make a decision on Smollett’s future.  While Empire had not received its renewal pick-up, its fairly certain it will live on to see another season    Meanwhile, the cast of Empire penned a letter asking Fox to bring Jussie back to the series.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Here is how it read:

Dear Charlie, Dana, Michael, Lee, Danny, Francie, Brian, Sanaa, Dennis, and Brett,

Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of Empire.

We understand the past months have been difficult to process—sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal. Throughout Empire’s five seasons working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity. He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped. We are confident in his lawyer’s assurance that the case was dismissed because it would not have prevailed.

Jussie has shown us on and off the set who he really is as a leader. In addition to being a caring friend and cast member who treats every crew member with love and respect, he has spent time with our families and individually supported each of us. These recent and detailed letters from The Black AIDS Institute, the Rainbow Push Coalition and the City Lights Orchestra shine a light on his commitment to true community service. Just a few months ago, Jussie partnered with the Trevor Project to provide support to their volunteer program that allows LGBTQ youth in crisis access to vital counseling services. Prior to that, he gave every cent from his sold out world tour to numerous charities. He has adopted a school in Chicago, taught songwriting to incarcerated youth at the Cook County Jail last year and bought the family of Kayden Kinckle, a six-year-old, double amputee, a wheelchair accessible van due to his school district not having a wheelchair accessible school bus. He has traveled to South Africa for service as well as to Jamaica to quietly meet about the safety of LGBTQ youth. This was all done without posturing, the need for attention or even discussion.

This is the Jussie we know.

It’s clearer every day that the extreme political climate in our country has only made our system of justice and the court of public opinion more unjust.

It is why now, more than ever, we must stand together as a family. A family is there for us in good times and bad. It can cut through the noise and confusion to understand that there is a person in the center of all this who deserves nothing more than to move forward with his life. We understand that this show is a business. And that business matters to us as well. We are confident our fans will welcome our “Jamal” back into the Empire family as enthusiastically as we will.

That is why we write today to ask you to keep Jussie on the cast so that we can all put this behind us and move forward. Thank you for taking time to hear us. It’s our hope that together we will move into our sixth season as the entire Empire family should.

SINCERELY,

Terrence Howard
Taraji P Henson
Bryshere Y. Gray
Trai Byers
Gabourey Sidibe
Nicole Ari Parker

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nancy dillinghamJamesj75ShayHarrysu000 Recent comment authors
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The Media whipped that whole mess into a public frenzy; Overkill..

I’ll sign the letter..

Jussie Smollett had All charges dropped against him.
This America, that is the way it is.
Jussie Smollett should 100% remain with Empire.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Okay, I didn’t speak up before, but I will do so now…

It is a shame that Smollett’s fellow cast members (and other supporters) are SO misguided. Smollett does not deserve any opportunity to return to his show, and other producers would be smart to avoid casting him ever again. This selfish punk is the one who stirred up a “public frenzy” by his own self-inflicted wounds, his own misguided actions. I happen to trust the police on this one. The evidence against Smollett is overwhelming. What caused the prosecutors to drop all charges against him is mystifying, but we have all seen miscarriages of justice before — O.J. anyone? Casey Anthony anyone?

To reiterate, Smollett first sent a threatening letter to himself. Then, with the help of two acquaintances, he staged a phony attack on himself, which was projected and sold as racial, homophobic hate crime. Other details are well documented. What Smollet did was an affront to African Americans, gays, and, well, decency!

Smollet’s actions were meant to evoke sympathy from the fans and producers of his show in hopes to expand his pocketbook and stardom. Well, he has certainly become notorious, but NOT in a good way!

Harry
Harry

James, I do agree and what is so detrimental is that his actions might cast doubt on real victims of hate crimes.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Thanks, Harry. And yes, the point you’re making is the most important and tragic consequence. Best to you, Harry!

Shay
Shay

Absolutely, James! Smollett’s repulsive and lawless attempt at self-promotion has managed to alienate and outrage decent people everywhere! I cannot think of any single incident in recent times which has so effectively coalesced such widespread disapproval, including that from normally disparate groups which tend to agree on very little else. The fact that even after this nearly-universal rebuke by the American public any individual could defend and continue to promote this remorseless and clearly guilty prevaricator really calls into question their own sense of what’s right and wrong. How one could excuse such inexcusable, and yes, criminal, behavior is truly beyond me. Perhaps it’s time for the entire “Empire” to go the way of ancient Rome, which also collapsed under its own weight of moral morass.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Thanks, Shay. The “nearly-universal rebuke” is staggering for this, as you rightly indicate, “criminal” behavior. I also enjoyed your linking of “Empire” to the fall of Rome!

And in case I am coming across as judgmental (though I know not to you, Shay), I have made more than my fair share of mistakes. And thankfully, I have apologized and tried to make amends for most of them. If only Smollett had attempted a modicum of self-awareness, remorse, and humility, it would have gone a long way to his redemption. Just as I have (sometimes) learned lessons when I have messed up, there are lessons to be learned from this fiasco. Best to you, Shay!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Why?

Days Of Our Lives

Soap Opera Halloween Costumes 2019: Which Character Would You Go As? (Photo Gallery)

Many of you already went to your big Halloween parties this weekend and played dress up either solo, with your family, or your date or your spouse, but there is still time for everyone else to get in the spirit of ‘Fright Night’ when it officially comes our way this Thursday, October 31st.

Many will go trick or treating with their young kids, or show up at an adult Halloween carnival or party.

So if your throwing together a last minute costume, or going all out, but have not decided what to be yet, here’s a little photo gallery of some of your favorite characters currently on the soaps to see if it might inspire you!

Check out MFTV’s Halloween costume suggestions gallery 2019 below.

Photos: JPI Studios

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EMPIRE Season Six Premiere: Andre Is In For A Shocker

When Fox’s music biz soap opera, Empire returns for its sixth and final season (kicking off this Tuesday, September 24th, 9/8c) the opener features cancer survivor, Andre Lyon (Trai Byers) in charge of the Lyon dynasty – with his dad, Luscious completely MIA.

But when addressing the company staff on some changes within the structure of the organization and his plans, he is stunned when none other than Tracy (Amanda Detmer), that’s previously referred to and known as “White Tracy’” (due to her crack addiction), shows up with a soapy bombshell during the meeting.

The mother of Andre’s deceased half-brother, Jeff Kingsley saunters in and announces, “I’m Empire’s newest co-owner!”   And with that, season six begins its arc with a battle for control that will be front and center.

Tracy wants payback and has an ax to grind.  In the season 5 finale, she told the Lyon clan that her decision to donate her son’s heart to save Andre would come with strings attached, but did anyone expect she would go this far?  Yup!  Watch the teaser below for Tuesday’s night’s first episode of the  final season.

Meanwhile, the season six key art featuring series stars: Taraji P Henson (Cookie) and Terrence Howard  (Luscious) in the same position as the famous scene in the motion picture Titanic has with it the saying “Rule to the end”.   Who will be left standing when the series comes to its exciting and emotional conclusion?

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Now let us know, what do you think of the Tracy twist? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Empire

‘Empire’ Final Season: Official Word No Jussie Smollett, Vivica A Fox To Series Regular, Spin-Offs Possible After Series Concludes

Plenty of news coming out of the Fox TCA panels and executive session.  Most notable was drama surrounding the sixth and final season of the sudsy Empire.

According to Fox CEO Charlie Collier when talk of potential spin-offs of the series came up: “We’re in the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong business — if there is more story to tell we want to hear it.”  Collier, referencing the series creators.

Photo: JPI

Collier also noted that a big send-off is planned for the series as its heads to its final episodes.  In addition, the CEO officially revealed after all the speculation that Jussie Smollett (Ex-Jamal Lyon), would not be returning to Empire for its final season.

Charlie noted, “There’s no plan for Jussie to return.”  Smollett got in trouble with the law in Chicago back in January, over an alleged hate crime, the actor claimed was perpetrated on him, when later he was charged for setting the whole thing up himself, and later those charges later dropped,   But Jussie’s problems with the Windy City are continuing hot and heavy this week.

Finally, soap opera favorite, Vivica A. Fox (Generations, DAYS) has been upped to series regular in her role as Candace.  As Empire viewers know, Candace is the older sister to Cookie Lyon, played by Taraji P. Henson.

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So, would you like to see an Empire spin-off?  Happy or sad that Jussie Smollett is not coming back to the series before it says goodbye/ Looking forward to more Vivica? Comment below.

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