Producers on the show are apparently circling the wagons following CBS Chicago’s bombshell report that Smollett allegedly paid two brothers $3,500 to stage the assault. The men claimed the actor told them to buy the rope and that he paid for it, the report said. Smollett and the brothers even rehearsed the incident, they allegedly told police.
Production sources now tell TMZ that Smollett, who was supposed to have nine scenes and a big musical number in the penultimate episode of Empire, has seen five of his scenes cut and the song excised completely in furious rewrites.
Smollett alleged that he was attacked after he went to a Subway restaurant early in the morning of Jan. 29.
In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America broadcast last Thursday, he said, “I don’t need some MAGA hat as the cherry on some racist sundae.”