CHICAGO (AP) – TNT says it isn’t going to air an upcoming episode of “Drop the Mic” featuring “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett “in the interest of not being exploitative of an incredibly sensitive situation.”
The cable network issued a statement Thursday saying it is shelving the episode of the battle-rap show that pitted Smollett against “Orange is the New Black” actress Danielle Brooks and “American Idol” star Clay Aiken against “Sharknado” star Ian Ziering. It will instead air an episode that pitted actress Raven Simon against comedian Ron Funches and boy band singers Joey McIntyre and Joey Fatone against one another.
Police allege that Smollett hired two brothers to help stage an attack on him late last month in downtown Chicago. He told police that two masked men beat him and hurled racist and homophobic slurs during the attack.
Smollett is due to appear at a bond hearing Thursday afternoon.