I hope this is not true, I know I was shocked when Malik Yoba, aka ‘Uncle Vernon” got killed off the show, but reports are surfacing that the Empire actor his substance abuse was causing problems on the set and eventually prompted Fox execs to step in.
According to the rumor mill, the decision to let him go was more due to him abusing drugs and terrorizing his castmates, instead of needing a dramatic conclusion to the first season of the show. Malik said he learned from series co-creator Lee Daniels that word came down from Fox that Vernon Turner would be killed off.
“Lee called me and told me,” Yoba told TMZ. “He said that, um, someone at Fox said that someone needed to die in the season finale. So, I was like ‘Word?’ ”
Malik was diplomatic about the decision, however, saying:
“To this day, I don’t know — in the infinite wisdom — who thought it was the best approach, but someone did. I never got a clear answer on it. But it wasn’t about the work or ethics or work ethics. It was the plot line.
Vernon’s gone, but Malik lives on. And — as I’ve told you, Chuck, in private — it’s a great opportunity to push forward the work that I’m doing in terms of building my own empire, if you will.”
The insider stated:
“Malik Yoba is back on drugs and he was making everyone on the set uncomfortable. One star of the show even threatened to quit during the 10th episode, but then they upped their pay to convince them to stay. Fox caught wind of what was going on and gave Lee Daniels an ultimatum: ‘You tell Malik he’s fired or we will.’ Fox also threatened to shelve the show indefinitely if Daniels didn’t do as he was told. So he did, and the rest is history.”
Maybe he was fired for speaking on Jussie Smollett about him being gay! Malik Yoba has the ashiest lips still, after all these years…