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'Empire' removing Jussie Smollett from season's remaining episodes after arrest

'Empire' executive producers said Smollett's character was being removed 'to avoid further disruption on set.'

Producers of "Empire" say Jussie Smollett's character will be removed from the final two episodes of this season. 

Smollett, who is black and gay, told police he was the victim of a hate crime committed by men who threw liquid in his face, yelled racist, anti-gay slurs and looped a noose around his neck. 

After a three-week investigation, Smollett was charged Wednesday with staging the attack with help from two brothers he knew and allegedly paid for their services.

After Smollett's arrest, FOX said it was "considering options."

"Empire" Executive Producers Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer released a statement saying Smollett's character, Jamal, was being removed from the final two episodes of the season "to avoid further disruption on set."

Credit: AP
This Feb. 21, 2019 photo released by the Chicago Police Department shows Jussie Smollett. Police say the "Empire" actor turned himself in early Thursday to face a charge of making a false police report when he said he was attacked in downtown Chicago by two men who hurled racist and anti-gay slurs and looped a rope around his neck. (Chicago Police Department via AP)

Smollett went directly after being released from jail on bond to the "Empire" set. There are two episodes left to make of the 18 airing this season, the fifth year for the series starring Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard as hip-hop moguls Cookie and Lucious Lyon.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. 

Credit: AP
This image released by Fox shows Jussie Smollett, left, and A.Z. Kelsey in a scene from the "Pride" episode of "Empire" which originally aired on Oct. 10, 2018. Smollett’s co-starring role in “Empire” may end up being the pinnacle of his career, industry observers and insiders said as the actor faces criminal charges that he faked a hate crime against himself. (Chuck Hodes/FOX via AP)

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