Although “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is walking away from his legal fight unscathed, the television series he is best known for is suffering.
Daily Mail reports Empire’s ratings have dropped considerably since Smollett first wrapped himself up in a self-orchestrated hate crime.
“On Wednesday, 3.97million viewers tuned in to watch the 20th Century Fox show, the lowest in its history,” the Daily Mail reports.
And: “The show returned to TV after a mid-season hiatus on March 13 but the scandal has done nothing to boost its ratings.”
Fans of the show have reportedly become more frustrated with Smollett and the show as a result of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s decision to drop all charges against the actor.
“If he’s back, I’m done with you,” one user tweeted about the possibility of “Empire” bringing Smollett back onto the show.
“If [Empire] brings Smollett back everyone should boycott it,” another user tweeted. “Faking a hate crime is not OK. It is a serious issue and his lip service is not playing.”
“Empire is my favorite show, but I will no longer watch if he is brought back,” another said.
The Daily Mail reports:
Soon after Smollett’s charges were dropped on Tuesday morning, Fox issued a statement to say it was ‘gratified’ by the outcome but it has said nothing since.
Meanwhile, the very prosecutors who dropped the case have spoken out to say they believe Smollett is guilty and the city’s mayor has billed him for $130,000 – the amount that was spent on police overtime investigating the January 29 attack.
The president has decried it as an ‘outrageous’ ’embarrassment’ and the State’s Attorney’s Office behind the decision is facing a federal probe.
Illinois state lawmaker Michael McAuliffe threatened to cutting Empire’s tax credit by up to 30 percent should they decide to use Smollett again: “Where the City of Chicago is concerned, Jussie Smollett is far from exonerated.”
“While the State’s Attorney has chosen not to pursue justice in this case, we need to send a message that Smollett’s actions are not a reflection of the values we have in Chicago and won’t be tolerated,” he added.
The show has not announced whether or not they would be adding Smollett back to the cast, but tweeted shortly after his charges were dropped: “Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed.”
Smollett has continued to maintain his own innocence throughout the case.
“I would not be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I’ve been accused,” Smollet contented.
“I would not bring my family, our lives or the movement through a fire like this. I just wouldn’t,” he continued.
As the Daily Mail reports, Smollett’s legal defense was able to get the judge to seal the case from the public record.
“A judge granted their motion and now it has been stricken from record, meaning none of the evidence police say they gathered against him will ever become public,” Daily Mail reports.
And, “Local media outlets have lobbied the court to unseal the records as has Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Police Superintendent.”