FILE - In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the "Empire" FYC Event in Los Angeles. Fox Entertainment chief Charlie Collier says Jussie Smollett won't be back on "Empire." Collier, speaking to TV critics Wednesday, affirmed series co-creator Lee Daniels' decision to drop Smollett from the drama’s upcoming final season. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Fox: Jussie Smollett won't be on final season on 'Empire'

August 07, 2019 - 4:32 pm

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Fox Entertainment chief Charlie Collier says Jussie Smollett won't be back on "Empire."

Collier, speaking to TV critics Wednesday, affirmed series co-creator Lee Daniels' decision to drop Smollett from the drama's upcoming final season.

Daniels had initially supported Smollett after the actor claimed he suffered a racist and anti-gay attack in Chicago.

But when Smollett faced charges for allegedly fabricating the attack, Daniels said the matter had become painful and frustrating for him and the "Empire" cast .

Prosecutors dropped the charges against Smollett in March, but a special prosecutor could charge him again .

Asked why Fox had extended Smollett's contract through the sixth and last season despite his legal peril, Collier said the network wanted to properly assess the situation before making a decision about Smollett's future with "Empire."