‘Empire’ Ratings Dip Slightly After Charges Against Jussie Smollett Were Dropped

Credit: Fox

Jussie Smollett’s legal victory on Tuesday hasn’t helped declining ratings for his show, Empire.

One day after the Chicago Police Department’s felony case against Smollett was dropped, the Fox series aired its 12th episode of Season 5. The episode titled “Shift and Save Yourself” garnered 3.97 million viewers, a tenth less than the 4 million fans the show brought in last week, according to Deadline.

The episode, however, maintained its previous 1.1 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic.

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This latest stat is a new low for Empire, which has struggled since its mid-season premiere on March 20. Contributing to the series’ ratings slide is the legal drama surrounding Smollett, who maintains he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago on Jan. 29.

After the 16 felony charges against him were dismissed, the actor  — who plays Jamal Lyon on the show — told reporters he has been “truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a different opinion, however, stating: “This is a whitewash of justice. I’d like to remind everybody a grand jury indicted this individual based on only a piece of the evidence that the police had collected in that period of time. So a grand jury actually brought the charges.”

President Trump has also weighed in on the matter, by calling for the FBI and the Department of Justice to take a closer look at the case. On Thursday morning Trump tweeted: “FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!”

Smollett has been cut from Season 5’s final episodes of Empire, and his future on the show is uncertain.