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After Arrest, Jussie Smollett Returns to Work on ‘Empire’

On Thursday morning, Jussie Smollett was arrested by Chicago Police and prompted a denunciation from President Trump.

By late Thursday afternoon, Mr. Smollett was back at work on “Empire,” according to a person involved with the Fox series who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel moves.

The Chicago Police Department’s arrest of the “Empire” actor, and his subsequent return to work, could have been taken straight from an episode of the show, which has had plot lines involving murders, kidnappings, car bombs, comas and memory loss.

Instead, the latest bizarre twist in a case in which Mr. Smollett was charged with orchestrating and staging an assault on himself will prompt a series of awkward decisions for Fox, including determining the fate of “Empire,” which, as of a month ago, was a fading but still respectable hit for the network.