Jamal Lyon is tapping out for a bit.
According to a statement provided to The Root via 20th Century Fox Television, Jussie Smollett’s role will be removed from the final two episodes of Empire’s 5th season.
The statement was released on behalf of Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer, executive producers of Empire:
The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out. We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season.
This comes after Smollett’s legal team released their own statement following the Chicago Police Department briefing. The actor reportedly apologized to his Empire crew on Thursday night while maintaining his innocence.
Smollett recently appeared at a bond hearing, which was set at $100,000. Prosecutors have charged him with Disorderly Conduct and False Reporting. If found guilty, he faces 1 to 3 years in prison.