According to E!, the network decided to delay work on the series, as well as its forthcoming legal drama Proven Innocent, as a result of the extreme weather brought by the polar vortex in Chicago on Wednesday. The Windy City has been hit with below-freezing temperatures, with a windchill warning that temperatures may feel as low as -55 degrees Fahrenheit, as a result of the storm.
The timing of the halt on Empire, however, coincides with what has already been an upsetting week for the cast and creatives.
Smollett, who portrays Jamal Lyon on the series, was the victim of a brutal assault late Monday night. According to the Chicago police, the actor was attacked by two men who fractured his rib, poured chemicals on him and tied a noose around his neck while shouting racist and homophobic slurs.
Smollett's co-stars as well as other members of the Hollywood community and activists have spoken up to offer support to Smollett as well as demand justice for the assault. Chicago P.D. confirmed that the incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.