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‘It’s Being Discussed’: Showrunner Won’t Rule Out Jussie Smollett Returning to ‘Empire’

There’s a chance that “Empire” viewers haven’t seen the last of the character Jamal Lyon, played by Jussie Smollett. That’s because showrunner Brett Mahoney said there’s discussions taking place about bringing him back for the series finale.

Smollett was written out of the show for the final episodes of season five and so far hasn’t been a part of the sixth and final season.

There’s a chance that Jussie Smollett could return to “Empire” for the show’s series finale. (Photo: Jerod Harris / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

The actor’s removal came after he was accused of staging his own attack earlier this year. Smollett, who’s Black and identifies as gay, claimed that two men beat him up in Chicago, yelled racial slurs at him and placed a noose around his neck.

But police said Smollett hired two brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, to attack him and lied about the whole thing.

Then on March 7, a grand jury hit Smollett with 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct. Those charges were dropped on March 26, but the case still isn’t over. Because a judge appointed a special prosecutor to reopen it and, based on his findings, Smollett could be charged all over again. 

Once, there was media speculation about the embattled actor returning to the sixth season of “Empire,” but in a June 4 tweet show creator Lee Daniels said that wasn’t going to happen.

Since then, cast members like Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard have said they miss Smollett being on the show.

And during a visit to “Watch What Happens Live” in November, “Empire” co-star Vivica A. Fox told people not to count Smollett out because he could still be part of the sixth season.

Mahoney spoke about Smollett during an interview with TV Line and said it would be awkward if he wasn’t part of the finale in some way. But Mahoney also said nothing has been finalized yet.

“It would be weird in my mind to end this family show and this family drama of which he was such a significant part of without seeing him,” Mahoney explained. “It’s fair to say it’s being discussed, but there’s no plan as of yet to bring him back. There’s been no decision made.”

The fall finale of “Empire” aired on Tuesday, and the series finale will reportedly be on in spring 2020.

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