It has been confirmed that Jussie Smollett will not be returning to Empire for the show’s finale, despite there being some discussion about Smollett’s possible return.
Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn told TVLine:
“We’re not going to bring Jussie back to the show,” Thorn said. “There were a number of factors that went into the decision to not bring him back. There were many points of view about if he should come back or if he shouldn’t. As hard as a decision as that was, for us… it felt like it was in the best interests of the show and the cast.”
In December, a Fox showrunner said that there was a chance that Smollett could make a return.
“It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this family drama of which he was such a significant part of without seeing him,” showrunner Brett Mahoney said to TVline.
“It’s fair to say it’s being discussed, but there’s no plan as of yet to bring him back. There’s been no decision made.”
Smollett was written off the show after he was charged by the Chicago Police Department over an alleged hate crime hoax. Smollett was accused by police of paying the Nigerian Osundairo brothers to give him a beat down, and pour bleach over him on a cold Chicago night while he was heading to Subway for the purpose of staging a hate crime.