The latest startling news about actor Jussie Smollett seemed to catch Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson by surprise, as footage from their press conference yesterday during which they expressed their disgust and outrage was all over television and the internet. I’m going to guess that it stopped the fine folks at Fox in their tracks, as well. I say this because on Monday night I happened to watch the Fox dramas The Resident and 9-1-1 in real time, commercials and all, and scattered throughout were several ads for Empire, the serial drama that made Smollett a household name. Interestingly, the thrust of this tune-in teaser was the apparent upcoming death of a key character, as promised by a menacing voice over that asked who would end up “six feet under” while shots of each member of the Lyon family flashed on screen. The final image was one of Smollett -- in character as the much-loved Jamal -- said to have been cut from the remainder of the season, if not the series altogether, in the wake of his ongoing scandal. And that was followed by a chilling shot of a white casket.
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