He may have filmed his final scenes for Empire but Jussie Smollett’s co-stars are determined to have him back for season 6, Daily Mail reports.
The actor bid farewell to season 5 of the show on Wednesday night, with his character, Jamal, getting hitched.
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Tonight, history will be made on @Empirefox. Its the first time two black men will be married on prime time television. Let that sink in. Jussie helped make this happen. Representation matters. I am not here to debate you on Jussie’s innocence …because I know he is. But whatever your beliefs are, I implore you to watch this episode. To celebrate the purity of love that we can all identify with regardless of race, religion, gender, age or sexuality. We must celebrate the groundbreaking history this show, this character and the creators have made in bringing Jamal to our homes. The noise should be able to stop for 1 hour. We can’t let this moment pass by simply because they don’t want to let this man live. It’s bigger than even him. Tonight. @empirefox #loveislove #istandwithjussie #jamallyon #nojussienoempire #nojamalnoempire #representationmatters #teamjamal #Empire #empireFox #jussiesmollett #tarajiphenson #terrencehoward #istillstandwithjussie #istandwithjussie
While it’s been confirmed the hip-hop-themed show will be returning for a new season, it’s still not clear if Jussie will be back too.
That uncertainty has forced his co-stars to stand up for him as they wrote an open letter calling for his return. Stars, including Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard, pleaded with network bosses that Jussie’s contract to renewed.
“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,” read the letter, which was also signed by co-stars Bryshere Y Grey, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Nicole Ari Parker.
“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.
“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 centre of all this who deserves nothing more than to move forward with his life.”
Any possible return to the show will be complicated by a lawsuit the city of Chicago has filed against the actor.
At the beginning of April the police department announced they were seeking more than $130 000 (R1,89 million) to cover the cost of a police investigation into Jussie’s claim that he had been the victim of a hate crime.
The lawsuit accused the actor of orchestrating a fake assault in January and repeatedly lying to members of the Chicago Police Department as they investigated the case.