Earlier this month, actor Jussie Smollett, whose allegedly false accusations regarding a racist attack against him that was investigated by the Chicago Police Department, was a topic of derision among comedians like Tracy Morgan and Chris Rock. Despite the mounting criticisms that have been made against him, however, it seems Smollett’s former cast mates over at the FOX series Empire have remained in his corner. In fact, according to Entertainment Weekly, they’ve written and signed a letter calling for his reinstatement.
In the letter, which was addressed to series showrunner Brett Mahoney and others, Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and others declared, “we stand with Jussie Smollett and ask that our co-star, brother and friend be brought back for our sixth season”:
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.
After mentioning several other accolades attributed to Smollett’s character and work, both on and off the Empire set, the cast insisted, “this is the Jussie we know.” Even so, it remains to be seen whether or not the public move by Howard, Henson and the others will work. FOX offered no official comment about it to EW at the time.