"Empire's" upcoming sixth season will be its last, Fox Studios announced on Monday. Whether or not the conclusion is premature or not in regards to a recent national scandal isn't immediately clear.
"Empire" star Jussie Smollett reported being the victim of a hate crime attack in January. According to his account, two male President Trump supporters ambushed him, beat him, and yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him in the middle of the night on the streets of Chicago. Smollett's supporters rallied to his side until the two alleged suspects admitted to the police that it was all a hoax, authored by Smollett himself. The actor denied having any involvement in the attack, but in a series of fiery press conferences, Chicago police said they had evidence to prove Smollett had staged the whole thing for his own career boosting self interests, and, in the process, cost the city innumerable resources.
The controversy is being blamed for "Empire's" series low ratings this past March.
While Smollett's supposed stunt disappointed fans, they won't be disappointed in "Empire's" final season, according to the Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier.
“We are turning the final season into a large TV event — we are trying to go out guns a-blazing,” he said. “You allow fans to lean in and have the ending they deserve.”
The fate of Smollett's character, Jamal Lyon, is still up in the air. He was written out of the last two episodes of the fifth season, and producers were mum about whether his character would appear for the final year.
“There’s an option to have Jussie in the series but we have no plans for that,” was all Collier offered.