36-year-old Empire fame actor Jussie Smollett fell prey to a vicious homophobic attack in Chicago a couple of days back. The attackers, reportedly, yelled out racial and homophobic slurs at the actor and also tied a rope around his neck. However, on Monday, new reports brought us a totally new twist to the story. The Chicago police are now said to be believing that Smollett might have orchestrated the hate attack on himself. Well, it looks like that the conflicting stories could be costing the actor screen time on his TV show.
A report by TMZ states that the makers of Empire have been chopping off scenes featuring the actor amid the whirlwind of controversy surrounding his alleged hate attack. A source informed the site, "Jussie was supposed to have nine scenes and a big musical number in the second to the last episode, which is being shot now, but five of his scenes have been cut, and his musical number has been 86’d.” The source added that the remaining four scenes will now feature an ensemble of characters and ‘will no longer focus’ solely on his character. Hence, the actor is said to be spending far less time on the sets. Moreover, the site also reports that the script of the show has undergone multiple revisions in the past 24 hours.
In response to the reports that claimed he paid the attackers for publicity, Smollett denied it insisting that the violent encounter was not a hoax.