But a source close to the show said that Malik Yoba was fired for drugs, with his substance abuse catching the attention of higher-ups at the network.
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.”
Despite the now widespread rumor, there is no verification that Malik Yoba was fired for drugs. And the official word from Empire show-runners was that Vernon Turner was killed off as part of a planned shake-up at the end of the first season, with neither Yoba nor Lee Daniels speaking publicly about the rumor.