“Why tear down another black person?” the actress said in an interview.
“There were a number of factors that went into the decision,” Fox chief Michael Thorn said.
The episode focuses on a celebrity accused of faking an assault in New York.
“It’s like losing a son,” Howard said in a TV interview.
Judge Michael Toomin slammed prosecutors, saying the case “lost its bearings.”
Actor is scheduled to make a court appearance next month.
Fox drama’s co-creator issues statement setting the record straight.
“We are going out guns-a-blazing,” Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier says.
Still, the network says it has the “option” to use the actor in future episodes.
Wednesday night’s episode featured TV’s first gay, black wedding.