×

Jussie Smollett Episode of TNT’s ‘Drop the Mic’ Pulled in Wake of Scandal

TNT has pulled an upcoming episode of its hip-hop roast battle show “Drop the Mic” featuring “Empire” star Jussie Smollett. The episode, set to air March 6, was yanked following the arrest of Smollett on Thursday for allegedly staging a hate crime against himself.

In the episode, Danielle Brooks, who plays Taystee on “Orange Is The New Black,” faced off against Smollett in a battle. Also on the episode, famed “American Idol” star Clay Aiken took on “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Sharknado” star Ian Ziering.

“We had an episode of ‘Drop The Mic’ this season with Jussie that you’ll now (correctly) never see, but sadly it will shelve Clay Aiken, WHO WAS A VERY GOOD RAPPER (at least for now),” executive producer Jensen Karp wrote on Twitter.

The Smollett episode of “Drop the Mic” is actually already available in at least one spot, however: YouTube is currently offering the episode for a $1.99 fee. The episode — which is marked as the 13th from Season 2, was apparently first released online on Feb. 6, but a TNT spokesperson confirmed that the network is now looking to remove it. The episode had already been pushed by several weeks following the initial reports of the attack against Smollett, but now it appears to not be on deck to air at all on TNT.

“We are pulling the episode in the interest of not being exploitative of an incredibly sensitive situation,” the TNT spokesperson said. “We are holding on airing his episode for now and we are replacing it with the Raven Simon vs Ron Funches and Joey McIntyre vs Joey Fatone episode.”

Jussie Smollett, Danielle Brooks
CREDIT: TNT

TNT’s decision comes as Fox mulls the fate of Smollett on “Empire.” As reported earlier Thursday, 20th Century Fox TV and Fox Entertainment said in a statement that “we understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.”

Smollett surrendered to authorities and was arrested early Thursday morning in Chicago. He is charged with filing a false police report and disorderly conduct. The actor and musician claimed that he was the victim of an assault in the early morning hours of Jan. 29 in Chicago, stating two men hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, beat him, poured bleach on him, and placed a rope around his neck. But Chicago Police officials asserted that Smollett set up a hate crime hoax because he was “dissatisfied with his salary” on “Empire.”

Jussie Smollett and Danielle Brooks
CREDIT: TNT

“Drop the Mic,” based on the segment from “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” is a bit of a celebrity roast, as stars come on and put up with some choice disses as they also lob some good ones at their rap opponent. Other matchups in Season 2 included Jerry Springer and Ricki Lake, Shaquille O’Neal vs. Ken Jeong, Jay Pharaoh vs. Marlon Wayans, Luis Guzman vs. Gabriel Iglesias, Seth Rogen vs. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Corden vs. Dr. Phil, Mark McGrath vs. Jodie Sweetin, Hanson vs. Sam Richardson, and Michael K. Williams vs. Trevor Jackson.

More TV

  • AMC’s Streamer Acorn TV Hires Kerensa

    AMC-Owned Streamer Acorn TV Hires Former Filmstruck Exec as International Boss

    Former Filmstruck International general manager Kerensa Samanidis has been appointed Acorn TV’s first international chief. As general manager, international, she will spearhead the growth of the AMC Networks-owned streamer outside of North America and Latin America. Last year, Acorn TV expanded into Australia, and New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and Scandinavia. In the newly-created international [...]

  • miptv-conference-room

    MipTV Organizers Unveil Transformation Plan for 2020

    MipTV is moving inside the Palais des Festivals in Cannes as market organizers attempt to ensure that the April vent remains relevant in the face of falling attendance, increased competition and wider industry changes. Reed Midem organizes MipTV and its better-attended sibling, Mipcom, in October. After this year’s MipTV, it reached out to distributors, many [...]

  • LEONOR-WATLING-AND-JAIME-LORENTE

    Amazon Prime Video Reveals Three Spanish Originals, Drops Sergio Ramos Doc Trailer

    MADRID — Amazon Prime Video has announced a slate of three new Spanish original series set for 2020, which will strengthen the streamer’s domestic catalog in the country. It also shared the first trailer for its second Spanish soccer docu-series “El corazón de Sergio Ramos” (The Heart of Sergio Ramos). In “El Cid,” popular Spanish [...]

  • Maya Hawke'Once Upon a Time in

    Maya Hawke Reflects on Robin's 'Stranger Things' Coming Out Story

    Robin Buckley shocked viewers everywhere when she came out as a lesbian to Steve Harrington on the floor of a bathroom stall, but actress Maya Hawke says the twist wasn’t always set in stone. Hawke tells Variety that it wasn’t until episode four or five that she and the Duffer Brothers came to a final decision [...]

  • Love Island - Pictured: Kyra Green,

    TV Ratings: Is 'Love Island' Deserted?

    Two weeks have passed on “Love Island” and plenty of singles have coupled and uncoupled in their bid for love and a fat $100,000 pay check. However, there’s one couple that doesn’t seem to be hitting it off: CBS and “Love Island.” Ratings for the show have been far from paradisiacal, and with the network [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content