The Jussie Smollett case took an unexpected turn on Tuesday (March 26) when prosecutors decided to drop all 16 charges against the Empire actor. According to TMZ, that doesn’t mean everything is copacetic on the set.
Smollett was facing significant consequences for allegedly faking his own hate-fueled attack in January. But despite being absolved of all charges, his fellow cast members and crew are still heavily divided on how to treat the situation.
Production sources reveal there are people on the Empire set (especially writers) who think Smollett’s vindication proves he was truly a victim. But there are also several people on the set who believe he’s guilty and are “shocked” by the lack of punishment. Simply put, they don’t want him back on the show.
In the wake of Smollett’s alleged attack, several of his castmates backed him up on social media. As evidence started to emerge suggesting he’d staged the entire incident, many of them pulled their support, including the show’s creator Lee Daniels, Empire alumni Naomi Campbell, Xzibit, Vivica A. Fox, Serayah McNeill, Grace Byers and Tasha Smith.
Smollett’s case isn’t entirely closed. The FBI is currently investigating the offensive letter sent to Smollett eight days before the attack to determine if he sent it. He could face federal charges if the findings prove to be factual.