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Old 03-13-2019, 05:35 PM   #1
TMC
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Join Date: Jan 09, 2001
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Default Empire boss describes the emotional rollercoaster of the Jussie Smollett controversy

https://ew.com/tv/2019/03/13/empire-...ussie-smollett

Since Empire's drama-filled Dec. 5 midseason finale, the show has had to face real-life drama following Smollett's alleged hate crime attack and his arrest after police accused him of filing a false report. Empire returns tonight from a three-month hiatus for the first of Season 5's final nine episodes. Showrunner Brett Mahoney calls the Smollett drama "an emotional rollercoaster," telling EW: "You have someone in your family whos going through this, while at the same time, were shooting the final episodes of the season, which are also just heightened emotionally. So it was a lot to deal with and a lot to go through, but were really just focused on finishing strong. Were in our last week of production and Im really proud of the work weve done this season, and hopefully the fans will really engage with these back nine episodes." Asked about the last-minute decision to right Smollett out of the final two episodes following his arrest, Mahoney says: "It definitely was an unexpected wrench to have to take the character Jamal out of those final two episodes, just because he is an important part of the show. But, luckily, we have such a strong ensemble and so many stories to tell. So often when you get towards the end of the season, I have so much story to tell that sometimes having to take something out means having room for something else that Im just as passionate about, so we were able to make that work."
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