Sources close to the network tell AlwaysAList.com that “things aren’t as they seem,” when probed on the matter.
On Wednesday’s episode of the Lee Daniels-produced series, Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon is shot by Freda Gatz in what was a bullet intended for his father, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard). The episode ends with Jamal in surgery at the hospital and uncertainty about his future.
Speculation that the shooting was a way of killing Smollett off from the show intensified when the 32-year-old actor posted an ambiguous message on Twitter that could have been interpreted as his farewell from the one-hour series.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time w/ @EmpireFOX. I love you all. Truth. Time 2 make a record & some movies. #Empire,” he posted, ending the message with a rose emoji.
Our source at Fox informed us that Smollett remains under contract and “will not be leaving the show.” The source reminded AlwaysAList.com that the series has “wrapped for summer hiatus, which gives Jussie plenty to focus on his music and maybe shoot a movie or two.”
Could all this chatter about Smollett leaving “Empire” be the cliffhanger build-up to next week’s season finale? Starting to sound like it to us.
Since “Empire” premiered on Jan. 7, 2015, the show has been a runaway hit that’s become the number series on prime-time television. Smollett became one of the show’s breakout stars and signed a recording contract with Columbia Records just one month after the drama premiered on Fox.