EXCLUSIVE – The public support for Jussie Smollett may still be low, but his closest friends continue to stand by his side.
Smollett is being written off Empire’s 6th season, of which he was a star for previous seasons, over allegations he faked a racist attack on himself in Chicago.
Still, Taye Diggs isn’t turning on Smollett.
“He is a good friend of mine. I love him. He’s, he’s only done right by me. Um, so you know people go through things,” said Diggs. “It doesn’t change who he was and who he is to me.”
Diggs was talking with Black Hollywood Live’s Danny Royce on Inside The Black Actor’s Studio, and said he didn’t know it was official Smollett wasn’t returning to Empire. Co-creator Lee Daniels released the news of Smollett’s departure from the show’s final season in June.
Diggs is hoping that decision is reversed.
“If I am being honest, the smart thing would be to bring him back and, and let it interweave it into the, into the show,” shared Diggs. “I feel like, people, I may get in trouble for saying this, but they’re so quick to just, uh, to leave, to leave these people. You know what I mean? So quick to, to fire them, so quick to kind of, you know, throw them away as oppose to, you know, taking their time and, you know, maybe letting it, let it, let it work towards, you know, the program or the job.”
The underlying factor for those in charge, according to Diggs, “fear. I think it’s fear.”
Smollett’s future in Hollywood is still unclear, but no matter what, Diggs is standing by his side, and hopes to do that literally on a project.
“I’m still dying to work with him again” said Diggs. “I’ll work with him in, in a second”
The 6th season of Empire premieres Tuesday, September 24th.
Hear much more from Diggs in the show link above!