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Empire Will End After Season 6

As the New York Times reports, Fox has announced that Empire’s sixth season will be its last. Executives from the network did not respond to questions about whether the scandal surrounding the show’s star Jussie Smollett had influenced the decision to cancel the show, which had also previously been suffering from declining ratings.

Following’s Smollett indictment for allegedly staging a hate crime against him earlier this year, Fox announced late last month that the network had “no plans” for his character to return in Empire’s upcoming sixth season. (Smollett also did not film the last two episodes of Season 5, which concluded last week.) Before Fox’s announcement that Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon would be discontinued in Season 6, a group from the cast of Empire signed a letter of support for Smollett. This included Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, the show’s leads.

In January, Smollett alleged that he was a victim of a violent hate crime in Chicago, but was later indicted for coordinating the attack. The lawsuit was subsequently dropped, but Smollett is being sued by the men with which Smollett allegedly orchestrated the attack and the city of Chicago (for the costs surrounding the investigation into the alleged attack).