Jussie Smollett's future on Empire may up in the air following his alleged hate crime hoax, but the rest of the cast , including Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, completely support his return.
In a letter obtained by Deadline, addressed to FOX and ABC executives, including Empire co-creator Danny Strong, Howard, Henson, Gabourey Sidibe and other series regulars issued a strongly worded plea for Smollett to rejoin the cast.
"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," the letter begins.
The letter goes on to defend Smollett's character, and notes that although "the past months have been difficult to process," they know Smollett is innocent.
"He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity," the letter reads. "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."
After listing some of his charitable efforts, contributions. and activism in the LGBTQ community, the cast then calls out the "extreme political climate," which they say has "has only made our system of justice and the court of public opinion more unjust."
The letter ends with the cast asking that Jussie be allowed to "move forward with his life."
"We understand that this show is a business. And that business matters to us as well," the letter reads. "We are confident our fans will welcome our 'Jamal' back into the Empire family as enthusiastically as we will."
21st Century Fox – which produces Empire – is now a part of Disney, ABC’s parent company.
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