Kevin Hart to Replace Jussie Smollett in ‘Empire’ Hollywood Sources Say

Comedian, actor and producer Kevin Hart, recently the subject of social media backlash after old remarks and messages expressing anti-LGBT sentiment resurfaced, will reportedly replace indicted “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, industry sources with no knowledge of ongoing discussions say.

“I feel five-and-one-half feet tall, and on top of the world!” said Hart, after a representative from WMA, the comedian’s talent agency, notified the wee star of his recent booking.  The actor’s height has been widely reported to be 5 feet, 4 inches.

“Things have been rough the past few months,” said Hart, during a hastily arranged press conference, “but I’m not going to let them get me down,” he said.

“Not that I’m apologizing for anything,” he added, “but if I did have anything to apologize for, I would be the bigger person, but since I don’t, and I’m not, I won’t, ‘cause I didn’t so I don’t have to, because I’m a Grown Little Man!

After holding for applause that did not come from the assembled media, Hart tugged at his collar and – a lá comedian Rodney Dangerfield – and said, “Whoa, what a tough room.  I don’t get no respect!  Now I know how Vice President Pence felt over there in Germany when he got the short end of the stick!”

The Pence comment referred to a recent appearance in Munich by the nation’s vice president, who offered “greetings from the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump,” but was met with awkward silence from world leaders and their representatives.

In a bizarre twist, Hart said he would not be able to start filming remaining episodes of “Empire” until his “very big duties” for the 91st Annual Academy Awards broadcast had concluded.  Hart was disinvited from hosting duties by the Academy, but his announcement hinted at perhaps a lesser, smaller, diminutive role during this year’s award show.

“I guess little is big now,” joked Hart, before driving off to film a promo for “Tiny House Nation,” a renovation series highlighting the downsizing trend for houses under 500 square feet.

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