Jussie Smollett’s Jamal Lyon will not be included in the final season of Empire. While Fox had previously indicated that Smollett was indeed out, his contract had been extended for a potential appearance. Yesterday, Empire creator Lee Daniels, quashed a rumor on twitter that the actor would return.

What’s happening:

  • On Tuesday, Variety reported that Fox’s Empire writers were planning to bring Jussie Smollett back to the show.
  • TVLine writes that shortly after the website tweeted the article, Empire creator, Lee Daniels commented that was not true.
  • Daniels responded to Variety’s tweet saying, “This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire.”  Daniels added his initials indicating the statement came direct from him.


  • Earlier this year, Fox announced it was renewing Empire for one final season. At that time the network said they wouldn’t be including Smollett’s Jamal for season six with Fox’s Charlie Collier saying, “There’s an option to have Jussie in the series but we have no plans for that.”
  • Smollett’s co-stars wrote an open letter to the network in his defense and asked for his character to be included in the final season 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.”