Fox Entertainment President Says Jussie Smollett Will NOT Be Returning for 'Empire' Series Finale, Despite Taraji P. Henson's Wishes

Jamal Lyon is gone for good.

A few weeks ago, ‘Empire’ showrunner Brett Mahoney alluded to the possibility of Jussie Smollett’s return to the show for the series finale.

While at the Fox Television Critics Association party, fellow ‘Empire’ star Taraji P. Henson expressed her desire to have Jussie come back one last time.

“If I had my say, he would have been back. I mean, we can’t end this show without him, he’s such an integral part to the show… He certainly was Cookie’s favorite son, and we need him to wrap this thing up.”

“I don’t know for sure,” she elaborated, “but if I had my say, yes… I mean there’s no way to end it without one of the Lyons. I don’t know how we do it.”

Despite support from the showrunner,  Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn shut down the possibility of Jussie’s return, telling

“We’re not going to bring Jussie back to the show. There were a number of factors that went into the decision to not bring him back. There were many points of view about if he should come back or if he shouldn’t. As hard as a decision as that was, for us… it felt like it was in the best interests of the show and the cast. Our hope is that all of the controversy surrounding Jussie doesn’t overshadow the show, which we think is bigger than him.”


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