On Friday Jussie Smollet was suspended from the hit show “Empire” after the actor was accused of paying two men to attack him last month in what police say a ploy to raise his profile because he wasn’t satisfied with his salary.
The show is in production on the 17th of the fifth season’s 18 episodes and is expected to complete filming by mid march. The suspension suggested that scenes in which he’s already appear will be removed from the finished episode.
Smollett has played Jamal on “Empire” since the show’s debut in 2015, but an executive at 20th Century Fox, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said neither Smollett nor his representatives had complained about his pay.
Smollett, who is gay and black, told investigators he was beaten by two masked men in the early hours of Jan. 29 who shouted racial and homophobic slurs, wrapped a rope around his neck in the fashion of a noose and poured bleach on him. He also told investigators that the men who attacked yelled, “This is MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan.