Empire creator Lee Daniels shared the cast reaction to Jussie Smollett’s ongoing criminal case in a video on his Instagram account on Wednesday night.
The fallout continues as Empire’s TV ratings crashed to a new low for the 2nd consecutive week.
The ratings for the season 5 return were a record low on Wednesday, March 13, as only 4.4 million viewers tuned in after Smollett was arrested for lying about a racist and homophobic attack against himself.
But last night’s ratings were even worse as viewership crashed to a new record low of just 1.6 million viewers and a 1.2 rating among the coveted 18-49 age demo.
March 13’s rating was the second smallest audience in the show’s history. Last night’s ratings was the smallest audience ever for the Fox TV soap opera.
READ ALSO: ‘Empire’ Ratings Crash for 1st Episode Since Jussie Smollett Arrest
Daniels took to his Instagram account on Wednesday to share his pain and to beg his followers to tune in to last night’s episode.
“Oh my god, these past couple of weeks have been a freakin’ roller coaster,” he said. “We have – me and my cast – experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration and really don’t know how to deal with it, you know?”
Without mentioned Smollett’s name. Daniels said last night’s episode was filmed prior to Smollett’s incident.
“Everything has happened – what you are seeing tonight – prior to the incident. And this is not what the show is made for. The show is made to bring America together, to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets.”
Smollett, 36, told police he was beaten by 2 Trump supporters who yelled racist and homophobic insults at him and tied a noose around his neck outside his Chicago condo on Jan. 29.
Smollett was written out of the season’s final 2 episodes, but some Twitter users said that wasn’t enough. They were disappointed that he was still on the show.
The actor plead not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct last week.