“Empire” co-creator and producer Lee Daniels spoke out on social media Wednesday to address the Jussie Smollett hate crime controversy, saying it’s been “a freakin’ rollercoaster” for cast and crew in the weeks following Smollett’s arrest.
In a video posted to his official Instagram, Daniels said that he and the “Empire” team are experiencing “pain, anger, sadness, and frustration” and that he doesn’t know how to handle it. Daniels’ video was posted to social media hours before “Empire” and “Star” aired on Fox Wednesday night.
“Everything has happened, what you are seeing tonight, prior to the incident,” he explains. “And this is not what the show was made for. The show was made to bring America together to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets.”
Earlier this month, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly orchestrating a hate crime attack which occurred in Chicago on January 29. At the time, Smollett reportedly told police that two men attacked him before placing a noose around his neck and dumping a liquid on him.
Smollett has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is due back in court on April 17.
[Featured image: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP]