Despite an initial report that Jussie Smollett was being written out of Empire, Fox has released a statement saying the contrary.
"Jussie Smollett continues to be a consummate professional on set and as we have previously stated, he is not being written out of the show," said Fox and 20th Century Fox TV Tuesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The network and producing arm of Fox also stated that the idea that Smollett is being faded out is "patently ridiculous," saying, "He remains a core player on this very successful series and we continue to stand behind him."
The statement contradicts an article by Deadline relaying that sources close to the show confirmed that Smollett's role on the show was being reduced. Deadline's sources also stated that upcoming episodes were being rewritten to further cut Smollett out of the series.
A source for The Hollywood Reporter also confirmed that Smollett's role "is in flux as the investigation continues."
While the various sources might make fans believe Smollett's days on the show are seemingly numbered, Fox is publicly upping its support for Smollett. Empire's showrunner Brett Mahoney tweeted a public statement regarding Smollett Feb. 17, writing in part, "I believe and stand by @JussieSmollett. Keep your head up."
Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon on Empire, has been embroiled in scandal since Jan. 29 when he alleged that two men attacked him as part of a hate crime. Since then, various details have spilled out, including the testimony Ola and Abel Onsudairo gave to Chicago police alleging that Smollett was the mastermind behind his attack.