Empire: Fox Breaks Silence on Jussie Smollett Exit Rumors

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Fox is continuing to stand by Empire star Jussie Smollett as rumors continue to swirl about whether his time on the drama is about to come to an end after allegedly faking an attack in a supposed effort to keep his job. 

Jussie Smollett Attends Fox Upfronts

"Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show,” a statement from 20th Century Fox said on Wednesday. 

Related: Empire: Jussie Smollett's Role Reduced

This is the second time in a few days that Fox has weighed in on the events playing out, and on both of occasions, the studio has supported the actor. 

The idea that Jussie Smollett has been, or would be, written off of Empire is patently ridiculous," the studio previously said.

Jussie Smollett Attends Empire Season 5 Premiere

"He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him.”

While Jussie sought medical assistance at the end of January and filed a police report alleging that he was attacked, the story has developed a lot in the last few days. 

Multiple outlets are reporting that Chicago PD is entertaining the possibility that Smollett was an active participant in the attack, and TMZ is reporting that the case could go to the grand jury in the coming days

Jussie Smollett Attends Event - 2018

Smollett's lawyers were quick to refute claims that the actor and singer faked his attack. 

“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with," a statement released on Saturday reads. 

"He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”

Jussie Smollett Attends Event

There are even reports that Smollett knew the two brothers that were hauled in for questioning about the attack. 

The statement from Fox comes amid claims that Smollett's screentime for the final two episodes of Empire Season 5 is being drastically reduced

Given that the big mystery of Empire Season 5 involves a beloved character being killed off, many thought this could be the way Smollett could be potentially written out. 

Jussie Smollett Attends Fashion Show

However, given that Fox is vehemently denying the reports, it sounds like Smollett's job is safe ... for now. 

What are your thoughts on the latest news?

Hit the comments below. 

Empire returns March 13. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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