(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 9, 2018 Jussie Smollett attends the Point Honors New York Gala celebrating the accomplishments of LGBTQ Students at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. US police on February 20, 2019 charged the TV actor with lying to authorities about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack on the streets of Chicago. Jussie Smollett is facing felony criminal charges for allegedly filing a false police report on January 29, when he claimed two masked men beat him late at night in downtown Chicago while yelling racial and homophobic slurs. / AFP / ANGELA WEISS Image Credit: AFP

Empire co-creator and executive producer Lee Daniels says the weeks since cast member Jussie Smollett was arrested and charged with fabricating a racist and homophobic attack have been “a freakin’ rollercoaster.”

In an Instagram video that doesn’t refer to Smollett by name, Daniels says since “the incident” he and his cast have “experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration and really don’t know how to deal with it.”

Daniels had been among the first to voice his support for Smollett after he made the report in January.

Daniels says the situation nearly made him forget to tell audiences that the Fox drama returns to the air on Wednesday. Daniels and other producers removed Smollett’s character from the season’s final episodes after his arrest in Chicago.

Smollett has pleaded not guilty.