Actors and actresses pretend to be people they’re not for a living. So it should as no surprise that alleged hoaxer Jussie Smollett’s co-stars on the Fox show “Empire” would write a letter asking Fox Entertainment executives to bring Smollett back for the sixth season of the show. Who better than people who lie for a living to defend someone who allegedly lied to the entire country about a racist attack on him that supposedly wasn’t.
According to Deadline, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard and more from the cast of “Empire” sent a letter to Fox executives gushing over how awesome Smollett is, to them, and that he should return to “Empire” this fall.
Perhaps the funniest part of the letter came when they described Smollett’s character.
“Throughout Empire’s five seasons working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character,” the letter read. “He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity.”
The letter went to proclaim Smollett’s innocence since the charges against the actor seemed to have been dropped — at least that’s what they publicly told us. Smollett actually forfeited a $10,000 bond to the city of Chicago and did “community service” in the form of two days of work for Jessie Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition, who were already in Smollett’s corner.
The news of the “Empire” cast letter comes at just about the same time as a defamation lawsuit against Smollett’s lawyers brought forth by Nigerian brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, in which they claim that Smollett “knowingly made false public statements against them in order to protect their client.
The Osundairo brothers claimed that Smollett brought them in on the alleged hate crime hoax that saw Smollett supposedly falsely claim that two white Trump supporters just happened upon him and attacked him with rope and bleach in the frigid, -20 degree early morning hours of January 29th in Chicago’s business district.
Judging by the full letter, the “Empire” cast must really hate TV ratings, because they’re doing themselves no favors with this letter.
In case you actually wanted to see the full letter from the “Empire” cast, read below:
Dear Charlie, Dana, Michael, Lee, Danny, Francie, Brian, Sanaa, Dennis, and Brett,
Together, as a united front, we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season of Empire.
We understand the past months have been difficult to process—sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal. Throughout Empire’s five seasons working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character. He is kind. He is compassionate. He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity. He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped. We are confident in his lawyer’s assurance that the case was dismissed because it would not have prevailed.
Jussie has shown us on and off the set who he really is as a leader. In addition to being a caring friend and cast member who treats every crew member with love and respect, he has spent time with our families and individually supported each of us. These recent and detailed letters from The Black AIDS Institute, the Rainbow Push Coalition and the City Lights Orchestra shine a light on his commitment to true community service. Just a few months ago, Jussie partnered with the Trevor Project to provide support to their volunteer program that allows LGBTQ youth in crisis access to vital counseling services. Prior to that, he gave every cent from his sold out world tour to numerous charities. He has adopted a school in Chicago, taught songwriting to incarcerated youth at the Cook County Jail last year and bought the family of Kayden Kinckle, a six-year-old, double amputee, a wheelchair accessible van due to his school district not having a wheelchair accessible school bus. He has traveled to South Africa for service as well as to Jamaica to quietly meet about the safety of LGBTQ youth. This was all done without posturing, the need for attention or even discussion.
This is the Jussie we know.
It’s clearer every day that the extreme political climate in our country has only made our system of justice and the court of public opinion more unjust.
It is why now, more than ever, we must stand together as a family. A family is there for us in good times and bad. It can cut through the noise and confusion to understand that there is a person in the center of all this who deserves nothing more than to move forward with his life. We understand that this show is a business. And that business matters to us as well. We are confident our fans will welcome our “Jamal” back into the Empire family as enthusiastically as we will.
That is why we write today to ask you to keep Jussie on the cast so that we can all put this behind us and move forward. Thank you for taking time to hear us. It’s our hope that together we will move into our sixth season as the entire Empire family should.
Taraji P Henson
Bryshere Y. Gray
Nicole Ari Parker