Jussie Smollett will not return to Fox Television's Empire if the series is renewed. According to Star magazine, the 36-year-old actor begged Fox executives not to terminate his contract.
Smollett's final episode last week featured his character, Jamal Lyon, tying the knot in a same-sex wedding. Viewers tuned out in droves, giving the episode the lowest ratings of the series.
Smollett told police he was beaten by two Trump supporters who yelled racist and homophobic slurs at him outside his Chicago condo in January.
The troubled actor was arrested in February and later charged with 16 felony disorderly conduct counts for making a false police report. But in a strange twist, Chicago's top prosecutor Kim Foxx dropped all charges against the actor, essentially wiping his slate clean.
But if Smollett thought his legal troubles were behind him, he was sadly mistaken. His political connections in Chicago only made his life worse.
"Jussie thought he'd get to ride it out," an insider tells Star magazine. The source added that the actor held private meetings with creator Lee Daniels and begged for his job.
"He thinks he's way too important. Jussie always felt the show would send an important message to the world if his character, the gay son, continued the family's legacy. Being written off wasn't anything he ever imagined."
Smollett also lost a coveted lead role in the Broadway play Take Me Out. The Tony Award-winning play explores homophobia, racism, classism and toxic masculinity in men's sports.
Smollett, who is biracial and openly ghey, was set to play the lead role of Darren Lemming, a mixed-race professional baseball player who decides to come out of the closet at the peak of his career.
The actor was in New York City to audition for the role 12 hours before he staged a hate crime with two Nigerian-American brothers.