AceShowbiz - Following the shocking hoax hate crime scandal involving star Jussie Smollett, it's said that the "Empire" set has been divided. According to a new report, some people want to keep supporting the disgraced actor, though some people are left furious.
Sources claim to PageSix that most of the cast members are more supportive to Jussie, who plays Jamal Lyon on the FOX drama. Contrary to that, the crew is allegedly more critical to the actor.
"Some of the cast wanted to send him a message, like a 'We're thinking of you' thing, and asked people to sign it," says a source. However, "a lot of people were disgusted. The hair and makeup people, a lot of the crew."
Amid the embroiling scandal against him, FOX decided to axe Jussie's character from the final two episodes of the hit show's fifth season in light of his legal drama.
"The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us," read a joint statement from series executive producers including co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. "Jussie has been an important member of our 'Empire' family for the past five years and we care about him deeply."
"While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out," the statement continued. "We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of 'Jamal' from the final two episodes of the season."
On Thursday, March 7, Jussie was indicted on 16 class four felony charges by a grand jury in relation to an alleged hate crime hoax. "Jussie Smollett knew that at the time... there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed," the latest indictment document obtained by CBS 2 Chicago read.
It was said that just one of the felony charges carries a three-year sentence behind bars if Jussie is convicted, which means the 36-year-old could potentially spend decades in jail. He is set to be arraigned on March 14.