Even before Jussie Smollett was fired from the rest of the season of Empire, things were tense with his castmates.
There had already been very credible reports that some of Jussie's castmates hadn't wanted anything to do with him.
Now we're learning that Empire star Terrence Howard had a meltdown on set the day that Jussie turned himself in to police.
TMZ reports that the accusation that Jussie Smollett had staged his own attack sent Terrence Howard into an emotional spiral.
Apparently, Thursday was something of a disaster on set.
Sources from the set report that Terrence felt devastated and was in such a state that he refused to come out of his trailer for most of the day.
Apparently, Terrence had struggled with aspects of Jussie's story from the start.
Because he felt like aspects of the alleged attack didn't add up, he was said to have grilled Jussie on what might be described as "plot holes."
Clearly, Terrence did not feel a sense of relief when his worst suspicions were apparently confirmed by the Chicago Police Department.
After Nigerian brothers Abel and Ola Osundario were detained, Terrence reportedly confronted Jussie again on set.
He is described as having "screamed" at Jussie to "come clean."
We mentioned that Jussie had apologized ot his tense castmates on Thursday.
During that apology, during which Jussie maintained his innocence, Terrence was reportedly a no-show.
To be clear, Terrence was not the only co-star said to have hard feelings about Jussie.
This was why, producers say, they removed Jussie for the remainder of the season.
Jussie had the sympathies of countless people.
We all know that LGBTQ+ Americans of color are at high risk for hate crimes, which have been on the rise in recent years.
In 2017, the murders of gay men simply for being gay averaged about 1 per week. More than half of those were people of color.
The revelation that Jussie allegedly staged his own attack, for reasons that remain unclear, is heartbreaking.
Many fear that this can and will be used to discredit countless very real hate crime survivors in the future.
There are a lot of political forces who would like to see crimes against marginalized communities treated with less significance.
Curiously, Terrence's social media activity seems to indicate that he has mixed feelings about Jussie.
Over the weekend, he shared a video on Instagram of Jussie playing with Terrence's young son, Qirin.
Jussie asks how many teeth baby Qirin has, and then proceeds to tickle Qirin.
Though the video is presumably older, Terrence makes it clear that the timing of him sharing it is not a coincidence.
"All your lil homies got you..." Terrence writes in the caption of the video. "We love the hell outta you."
That's a surprising show of what seems to be support.
Why the apparent change of heart?
Well, we can't speak to what's going on in Terrence Howard's mind at any given time.
He admitted to having been violent towards his ex-wife and he also claimed to have invented a new type of math.
That first thing is alarming and has caused many people to avoid watching Empire.
That second thing has caused a lot of people to just assume that he's nuts.
But it may be that Terrence, like a number of others, is unsure if he can trust the Chicago Police Department.
Why might Terrence have doubts?
Well, first of all, the Chicago PD has a troubling reputation when it comes to allegations of racist activity -- even for a metropolitan police department.
The CPD has been accused of lying to the detriment of communities of color, even to shield an alleged murderer.
Second of all, the FBI shared that they have not concluded that Jussie mailed himself the threatening message that proceeded his alleged attack.
The CPD had suggested otherwise.
While we don't suggest that anyone go jumping to conclusions, there's a lot that we still don't know.