”Empire” creator and director Lee Daniels spoke out about life on set of the famous series after Jussie Smollett, also known as Jamal Lyon on the show, pleaded not guilty to charges related to allegations that he staged a hate crime in Chicago and filed a false police report.
Daniels posted a video to Instagram on Wednesday, prior to the latest episode of “Empire.” In the caption, he said, “I was so in my feelings last week that I forgot to post about #empirefox & #staronfox …. I guess y’all know why…anyway I’m back and I’m finally ok!!!!”
However, within the video itself, Daniels said, “These past couple of weeks have been a freakin’ roller coaster. We have, me and my cast, have experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration and really don’t know how to deal with it. Everything has happened, what you are seeing tonight, prior to the incident. This was not what the show is made for. The show was made to bring America together…to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets.”
Daniels’ last mentioning of the controversy was as one of the producers who released a statement that Smollett had been cut from the final two episodes of ‘Empire’s current season. That statement said, “The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our ‘Empire’ family for the past five years, and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out.”