Jussie Smollett Appreciates 'Empire' Contract Extension Amid Uncertainty Over Season 6 Return

Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV confirm the extension to Jamal Lyon depicter's contract, while his spokesman extends the actor's gratitude for cast, crew and fans' unwavering support.

AceShowbiz - Jussie Smollett's "Empire" contract has been extended after his castmates urged producers to let him stay with the show amid his legal dramas in Chicago, Illinois.

Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and other stars on the show signed a letter urging show co-creator Lee Daniels and his associates not to fire the embattled actor, who was arrested and accused of filing a false police report and then released without charge.

Smollett claimed he had been attacked outside his Chicago apartment in January by two masked men, who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, but the city's Mayor, Rahm Emmanuel, and chief of police remain convinced the "Empire" star orchestrated the whole thing as a publicity stunt.

His future on the TV drama has been up in the air since the drama began and last month Daniels revealed a decision had not been reached.

But the show is coming back for a sixth season and Smollett could still be a part of the programme.

"By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for Season 6, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to 'Empire'," a statement from Fox Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV reads.

"We've been told that Jussie will not be on 'Empire' in the beginning of the season, but he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal's future open," a spokesman for the actor tells the New York Post. "Most importantly, he is grateful to Fox and "Empire" leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support."

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