With a scandal flaring up around “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s claim that he was a victim of a hate crime, the Fox drama series has cut some scenes featuring the actor, TMZ reports. The report comes as momentum appears to be building for the sentiment that Smollett staged the Jan. 29 attack in Chicago.
“Production sources tell TMZ … Jussie was supposed to have 9 scenes and a big musical number in the second to the last episode — which is being shot now — but, 5 of his scenes have been cut, and his musical number has been 86’d,” TMZ reports. “As for the remaining 4 scenes … we’re told he’s no longer the focus. The scene features an ensemble, meaning he’s flanked by a number of cast members.”
The report notes that Smollett’s time on the set is also being cut back.
“Instead of working every day this week, we’re told Jussie’s working Friday and possibly Thursday, and he won’t be rehearsing,” TMZ reports, adding: “Less work for Jussie means more work for writers, who are busy making edits. In the past 24 hours, we’re told the script has undergone multiple revisions.”
The case is said to be headed to a grand jury, possibly as early as today. TMZ cites law enforcement sources saying the focus is on “presenting evidence that could lead to a felony indictment against Jussie for allegedly filing a false police report.”