(AllHipHop News) Last month, reports began circulating that Jussie Smollett supposedly negotiated a contract extension option for season six of Empire. However, 20th Century Fox Television did not plan to bring the actor back to the program.
Yesterday, Variety ran an article claiming show writers were preparing to add Smollett's Jamal Lyon character in the second half of the season. Empire co-creator Lee Daniels addressed the situation on Twitter.
"This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire," tweeted Daniels on Tuesday night in response to the Variety report. The public statement appears to be the first acknowledgment that Smollett will not return to the Fox drama.
In April, fellow Empire cast members called on the network to restore Jussie Smollett for Season 6. They purportedly continued to lobby producers on behalf of the 36-year-old entertainer last month.
Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts for filing a false police report in connection to Chicago authorities insisting he lied about being a victim of a hate crime. The charges were later dropped, and Smollett maintains he was attacked by two men claiming to be Donald Trump supporters.