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Lee Daniels Says ‘Empire’ Cast Has Felt ‘Pain and Anger and Sadness and Frustration’ Amid Jussie Smollett Scandal

The Wrap Thursday, 21 March 2019
Lee Daniels Says ‘Empire’ Cast Has Felt ‘Pain and Anger and Sadness and Frustration’ Amid Jussie Smollett Scandal“Empire” co-creator spoke out about the emotional distress affecting the show’s cast and crew amid star Jussie Smollett’s ongoing criminal case surrounding the allegedly fake attack from earlier this year.

“These past couple of weeks have been a freaking roller coaster,” Daniels said in an Instagram video posted hours before the airing of Wednesday’s episode. “Me and my cast have experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration and really don’t know how to deal with it you know?”

Smollett appeared in court last week to plead not guilty to 16 counts of disorderly conduct after being accused of lying to police regarding a Jan. 29 incident, in which he said he was randomly attacked by two men shouting racial and homophobic slurs in his Chicago neighborhood.

*Also Read:* Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to 16 Counts of Disorderly Conduct

Police have accused Smollett of paying two men to stage the attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on the show. Smollett has denied any wrongdoing.

“This is not what the show was made for,” Daniels continued. “The show was made to bring America together. To talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets.”

Daniels also clarified that the currently airing episodes of “Empire” were produced before Smollett’s arrest.

The show’s producers have previously said they would remove his character from the then yet-to-be-filmed final two episodes of the season, airing later this spring.


View this post on Instagram

I was so in my feelings last week that I forgot to post about @empirefox & @staronfox …. I guess y’all know why ????????… anyway I’m back and I’m finally ok!!!! ????????????????????????

A post shared by Lee Daniels (@theoriginalbigdaddy) on Mar 20, 2019 at 1:21pm PDT



*Related stories from TheWrap:*

NAACP Image Awards Under Pressure by Conservative Group to Drop Jussie Smollett's Nomination

Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to 16 Counts of Disorderly Conduct

Ratings Tank for First 'Empire' Since Jussie Smollett Arrest
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News video: Lee Daniels Opens Up On 'Empire' Team's 'Pain' And 'Sadness'

Lee Daniels Opens Up On 'Empire' Team's 'Pain' And 'Sadness' 01:01

Lee Daniels is speaking out about what life has been like on "Empire" during the Jussie Smollett controversy. Smollett, who stars as Jamal Lyon on the show, has pleaded not guilty to charges related to allegations that he staged a hate crime in Chicago and filed a false police report. Daniels...

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