'Empire' creator Lee Daniels has denied that actor Jussie Smollett will be returning to the sixth and final season on the show.

"Jussie [Smollett] will NOT be returning to 'Empire,'" Daniels said in a statement to Variety.

The statement is in response to a Variety article which cited several production sources who claimed that 'Empire's' writing staff was breaking ideas for the show's sixth and final season with the expectation that Smollett would appear in the back half of the 18-episode season. But if Smollett is returning to our screen anytime soon, it will not be on the FOX hit show.

Back in April, Smollett's former 'Empire' Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Bryshere Y. Gray, Trai Byers, Gabourey Sidibe, and Nicole Ari Parker penned a letter to the studio to urge execs to take Smollett back. The show did extend his contract leaving the possibility of a comeback open - but many figured that it was just a polite way to fire the star.