The stars of the Fox drama series “Empire” have formed what they say is a “united front” in an effort to bring beleaguered cast member Jussie Smollett back to the series for the show’s sixth season, Deadline reports.
The report quotes a letter from cast members saying: “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.”
Deadline says the April 19 letter from Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and “the rest of the series’ top cast” was sent to Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier, Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chair Dana Walden, Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn, “Empire” co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and various executive producers on the series.
The report notes that Henson expressed similar sentiments during an appearance April 4 on “The View.” The letter is reportedly also signed by Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe and Nicole Ari Parker.
The letter adds: “We understand the past months have been difficult to process — sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal.”
Sixteen felony charges against Smollett stemming from his alleged false report of a hate crime in Chicago were dropped in late March. Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on “Empire,” has continued to insist that he’s innocent.
Click on the link above to Deadline to read the full letter.