The Empire cast wants Jussie Smollett back on the show!
Gearing up for their sixth season of the popular and always-dramatic TV show, the cast is putting on quite the unified front today after penning and publishing an open letter in which they specifically request that Jussie return to the series, especially now that that worst of his Chicago attack fallout days appear to be behind him.
Here’s the open letter, in full, presented by the cast to the show’s producers and runners (below):
“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.
Taraji P Henson
Bryshere Y. Gray
Nicole Ari Parker”
They definitely don’t hold back!!!
But will it actually happen?!
First off, Empire hasn’t officially been renewed yet — so, let’s not get carried away! — but assuming the popular Fox series does get its green light for a sixth season, creator Lee Daniels had a pretty ominous take about whether Smollett fit into the show’s future plans.
Speaking on Wednesday with the folks at Good Day New York, Daniels revealed that the city of Chicago’s massive civil lawsuit against Smollett is “causing a dilemma” in the producers’ attempts to bring the actor back for the show’s sixth season.
Daniels went on to say, more ominously (below):
“We are in discussions about [bringing Jussie back] right now. It’s so painful that our souls are cracked. It’s just too painful to talk about. There are only two judges. God and that man that wears the robe. And I cannot judge. I can only have compassion. I have had conversations with him and he is in a lot of pain. If he is guilty, then I am worried about his mental health.”
Um… WOW. It’s one thing to mention that they are still in discussions about Jussie’s potential return, and neither confirm nor deny, but to put that worry about the actor’s mental health out into the air… oh man.
What is going on?!
And what do U think, Perezcious readers??? Will Jussie Smollett be back on Empire next season, or not?! Sound OFF in the comments (below)…
[Image via WENN]