Jussie Smollett has lost his job on Empire. Yesterday, two very interesting statements were made. This morning, Wendy Williams, did some pretty piss poor reporting on the subject. I watch her show every day but never rely on it to be accurate regarding Entertainment News. Because, it usually isn’t. Today she said Jussie Smollett was going to be paid to stay home. This is not true. AT ALL.
Let’s start with what was released to the press yesterday. First, Fox said the following:
“By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett’s option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire.”
What Does That Mean?
If this were a RHOA full-time contract, then he would be holding a peach and would be guaranteed to be on all the episodes. (This is why we will probably be stuck with scenes with LVP on RHOBH for the rest of the season). Jussie Smollett’s contract with Fox/Empire is more like Marlo Hampton’s RHOA contract. He is paid well. But with no episode guarantee.
Then a statement from Jussie Smollett’s camp was released that said:
“We’ve been told that Jussie will not be on Empire in the beginning of the season but
he appreciates they have extended his contract to keep Jamal’s future open. Most importantly he is grateful to Fox and Empire leadership, cast, crew and fans for their unwavering support.”
Think of this as something more similar what Thomas Ravenel said when he was also “not fired” under similar circumstances. His options were exhausted at the time. So they just didn’t offer him a new one. Plus, Jussie Smollett’s version got to add that he has “unwavering support.” You know, except for the no job part and how we are about to see all the evidence of his guilt in his upcoming civil case. But sure, loved by one and all. Just without a job. And facing serious legal action for allegedly faking a hate crime. Other than that, things are great.
When Is A Pick-up Letter Not A Pick-up Letter?
So think of Jussie Smollett as a Marlo Hampton. Bravo picked Marlo up for next season and gave her an episode rate and guaranteed her a minimum number of episodes. Fox exercised their option to “pick-up” Jussie for the upcoming season of Empire, but did not give him a guaranteed number of episodes.
NEED EVEN MORE JUSSIE SMOLLETT DRAMA? TT’S GOT THE TEA!
This gives Fox the first rights to all of his broadcast television exclusively. But he only gets paid if he does an episode and that episode is completed to be aired. So he is under an employment contract with FOX. So technically he was not fired. They just aren’t going to put him on any episodes. On the other hand, technically he is not employed. Because they have no work for him right now. I am pretty sure they are going to kill of his character.
So since FOX didn’t fire him, he can’t sue them. Jussie Smollett gets to say he isn’t fired. Basically Fox/Empire were in a very bad place. And this was their legal ticket out of it. So, that’s how Jussie Smollett lost his job on Empire.