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If you caught the season finale of Empire, then you know that Vernon Turner got literally whacked – accidentally murdered with a blunt object in one of the series’ most surprising scenes.

We would’ve given you a spoiler alert, but we feel like our headline kinda let the cat out of the bag already. Besides, if we didn’t ruin it for you, some jerk on your Facebook feed would’ve, anyway.

Needless to say, barring a flashback or a sweeps week plot twist involving a Ouija board, actor Malik Yoba’s time on the hit series is at an end.

As you might expect, he’s not happy about it, as evidenced by this interview with TMZ:

Yoba is not the first to offer the explanation that Fox insisted someone needed to be killed off in the series finale.

However, it’s a bit strange for a network to offer such specific instructions about a show’s direction, particularly when the show is as popular as Empire.

So perhaps it’s not surprising that other explanations for the somewhat random killing have been circulating online. One of the popular rumors involves Yoba’s alleged drug use.

Apparently, the actor was struggled with addiction in the past, and a source close to the show says Yoba was back on drugs and "making everyone on set uncomfortable." 

The insider says Fox execs caught wind of the actor’s troubles and insisted that showrunner Lee Daniels give him the boot.

Neither Yoba nor Daniels has spoken publicly on the rumor and it’s unlikely that will ever a definitive answer on why Yoba was cut from the cast.

All we can say for certain is that the writers could’ve chosen a more dignified exit for the man than being conked on the head. What a way to get fired…

Haven’t seen the show yet? Want to see the amazing 12 installments again? Just watch Empire online at TV Fanatic to relive the epic first season.