Lee Daniels discusses the anger and sadness the ‘Empire’ cast has endured

Lee Daniels (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Lee Daniels has admitted the cast and crew of “Empire” have been through “pain and anger and sadness and frustration” due to the Jussie Smollett scandal.

The 36-year-old actor was dropped from the final two episodes of the fifth season of the musical drama after he was accused of orchestrating a racist and homophobic attack on himself — allegations which he has denied — and the showrunner admitted all involved with the program “don’t know how” to cope with the “rollercoaster” they are currently on.

In a candid video he shared on Instagram, Lee said: “Oh my God, these past couple of weeks have been a freakin’ roller coaster. We — me and my cast — have experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration and really don’t know how to deal with it, you know?”

The 59-year-old producer admitted he wanted the show to “bring America together,” rather than for the scandal to be detracting attention away.

Stressing the episode which aired on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, had been filmed “prior to the incident,” he said, “This is not what the show was made for. The show was made to bring America together, to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now on the streets.”

In his caption for the video, Lee admitted he was sharing thoughts he had meant to post before the episode aired.

He wrote, “I was so in my feelings last week that I forgot to post about @empirefox & @staronfox… I guess y’all know why … anyway, I’m back and I’m finally ok!!!! (sic)”

“Empire” executive producer Brett Mahoney recently insisted it is “too early” to make a decision on whether Jussie will keep his job on the show as he and other executives working on the show want to see how his legal case develops first.

He said, “It’s a matter of trusting the process and allowing the legal process to play out and see where it goes from there. And it’s too early to think about what we would have to do if we didn’t have Jussie.

“We have such a strong ensemble and we have so many stories to tell for all of these fascinating characters that it’s bigger than one character, but it’s too early to think about the show without him.”



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