Jussie Smollett's 'Drop the Mic' Episode Pulled, 'Empire' Producers 'Considering Options'
The episode was set to air on TNT on Wednesday, March 6, but the network has decided to not air it.
Smollett faced off against Orange Is The New Black star Danielle Brooks, who plays Taystee on the Netflix show.
“We had an episode of ‘Drop The Mic’ this season with Jussie that you’ll now (correctly) never see, but sadly it will shelve Clay Aiken, WHO WAS A VERY GOOD RAPPER (at least for now),” executive producer Jensen Karp wrote on Twitter.
We had an episode of Drop The Mic this season with Jussie that you'll now (correctly) never see, but sadly it will shelve @clayaiken, WHO WAS A VERY GOOD RAPPER (at least for now)
— Jensen Karp (@JensenKarp) February 21, 2019
Despite the episode not airing on television, fans can watch the rap battle on YouTube if they’re willing the pay.
“We are pulling the episode in the interest of not being exploitative of an incredibly sensitive situation,” a spokesperson for TNT shared.
“We are holding on airing his episode for now and we are replacing it with the Raven Simon vs Ron Funches and Joey McIntyre vs Joey Fatone episode.”
Smollett reportedly staged this hate crime because he was not happy with his salary on Empire. He was reported as a suspect on Wednesday, February 20, and decided to turn himself in to Chicago police on Thursday, February 21.
While Fox had initially released statements of support for Smollett following the reported attack, it sounds as if they’re now scrabbling to find a solution.
“We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process,” 20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment said in a statement on Thursday, February 21.
“We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”
Production on Empire is still going on in Chicago, so it’s unclear as to what they’re planning to do with Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon.