Lee Daniels Talks Pain, Anger in Wake of Jussie Smollett Scandal

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Last week. Jussie Smollett pleaded not guilty to all charges. His case is controversial for a litany of reasons.

In the mean time, those who know and believed in him most are still reeling from his scandal.

Empire creator Lee Daniels is now speaking out publicly about the way that Jussie's drama has thrown the show for a loop.

Lee Daniels on Instagram

"I was so in my feelings last week that I forgot to post about @empirefox & @staronfox," Daniels admits.

He continues: "I guess y’all know why."

He follows that line with a series of the "eyes" emoji, which most of us use when our favorite Instagram thirst follow posts a thirst trap.

In his case, it's conveying something very diferent -- eyes wide open in shock.

"Anyway," Daniels writes. "I’m back and I’m finally ok!!!!"

Lee Daniels Photo

"Oh my God," Daniels exclaims. "These pase couple of weeks have been a freaking roller coaster."

"We -- me and my cast -- have experienced pain, and anger, and sadness, and frustration," he confesses.

"And," Daniels continues. "We really don't know how to deal with it, you know?"

Who among us would know how to deal with a scandal of this magnitude?

"Because it happened," he notes. "Everything that you're seeing tonight, prior to the incident."

Scripted television (and most reality television) is filmed months in advance of it ever airing.

Jussie Smollett at Court

"And this is not what the show was made for," Lee Daniels asserts.

He explains: "The show was made to bring America together."

Daniels adds that the show was intended "To talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets."

He then suggests that people watch both Star and Empire.

"Watch!" he concludes.

Jussie Smollett Mug Shot

Weeks ago, together with six other Empire producers, Daniels put out a statement on Jussie's removal from the remainder of the season.

"Jussie has been an important member of our EMPIRE family for the past five years," the statement begins.

The statement continues: "And we care about him deeply."

"While these allegations are very disturbing," they acknowledge. "We are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out."

Sometimes, when things don't make sense, you just have to have a measure of faith that the truth will present itself, one way or the other.

Otherwise, you fall into cynicism or worse, hopelessness.

Jussie Smollett: A Selfie

"We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show," the statement continues.

"And to avoid further disruption on set," the producers write. "We have decided to remove the role of 'Jamal' from the final two episodes of the season."

Jamal is, of course, played by Jussie Smollett.

For the record, Jussie has maintained his innocence throughout this ordeal.

Police say that htere are clear records of a phone call Jussie made to his alleged attackers, and that he paid them.

There have been multiple "explanations" for his alleged motive in staging the attack.

It is difficult to imgine someone faking a hate crime -- especially when real ones happen all of the time.

Like those who work on Empire, we hope that the truth will soon reveal itself beyond any shadow of a doubt.

One way or the other, we will all be able to put this horrible incident behind us.

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Tags:
Lee Daniels, Empire, Celebrity Scandals
Star:
Jussie Smollett
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