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Fox cancels Empire

END OF EMPIRE: Jussie Smollett

EMPIRE HAS been cancelled by Fox following the controversy surrounding cast member Jussie Smollett.

The show’s sixth season will be its last the US TV network announced this week.

No reasons were given for why the show has been cancelled. Vanity Fair reported that Fox executives “stumbled to avoid” providing definitive answers to questions about Smollett.

The 36-year-old claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime in Chicago in January.

Police investigating the incident turned their efforts to looking into whether Smollett was behind the attack.

He was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct but the charges were later dropped. If found guilty, he could have faced up to three years in prison.

The actor was written out of the remaining episodes of the TV show's fifth season. And while Smollett could technically reappear in the final season of the series, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said “no plans” had been made for his return to the programme.

“There’s an option to have Jussie in the series but we have no plans for that,” Deadline reported Collier said.

He added: “We are excited to see the show go, you know, out with a bang.

“And really, that’s what we’ve been focused on. And that’s been great in these early-season conversations.”

In the aftermath of the Smollett controversy, the actor received a lot of criticism as he faced accusations that he faked the attack. Several of his co-stars, including Taraji P Henson, publicly supported him.

Smollett has denied claims he organised the attack.

After it was announced that the charges against him had been dropped, his lawyers said: “He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement.”

As well as Empire, Star, created by Lee Daniels with a cast including Queen Latifah, has also been cancelled after three seasons.

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