A few actors have spoken openly about his return.
The last two days have been a whirlwind for Empire star Jussie Smollett as he attempts to rebuild both his reputation and career following this current scandal. After being accused of staging the homophobic, racist attack on him, all 16 charges against him were dropped. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel even stepped forward to make a statement during a press conference denouncing Smollett by stating, "Mr. Smollett is still saying that he is innocent. Still running down the Chicago Police Department. How dare him? How dare him? This is not the superintendent's word against his, the grand jury came to a conclusion, as did the state's attorney's office."
Both the Mayor and the Chicago Police Department still believe that Smollett is guilty, saying that he contrived the plan in an aim of "self-promotion." However, Smollett stated today that he has never changed his story while still maintaining his innocence. “Not for a moment was it in vain. I’ve been truthful and consistent on every level since day one,” he said. “I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I was accused of."
The real question is: What does he do now? Smollett's been written out of the final episodes of Empire, but the ratings slump the show has experienced since his exit could force them to ask for his return. TMZ reports that production is at odds regarding whether or not he should come back to the series even though all charges have been dropped. The publication states that the writers are ready to pencil him back into the storyline, but there are others believe in his guilt and are shocked by his "lack of consequences."
However, there have been a number of cast members who, just yesterday, were vocal about their love and support of Smollett. Taraji P. Henson, Gabby Sidibe, and AzMarie Livingston all either made statements or took to social media to say that they can't wait to see him back on set. Even if they are divided about Smollett's guilt or innocence, they have to be glad that this is over...that is, unless there are any federal charges filed, but that is doubtful.