Fans of FOX’s smash hit Empire were shocked when (spoiler alert) Malik Yoba’s character Vernon was killed during the season finale of the drama.
As a result of his exit from the show, rumors began circulating about his demise. According to some media reports and an anonymous source, Yoba was fired from the show for using drugs and for being difficult to work with.
On Friday, Yoba joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to set the record straight and talk about what’s next for him after this unfortunate series of events.
Yoba told Martin, “Yesterday, Danny Strong, the co-creator of Empire’s article came out where he clearly stated I did not get fired, no one was on drugs.” Yoba also stated that the site where the allegations originated from “retracted it.”
The former Empire star explained to Martin that “the scariest part is that people will read something online ‘cause it’s in their pocket on their phones or on their computer tablet and they believe it and they pass it along.”
“We know the truth,” said Yoba. “It’s all cleared up now.”
Yoba then began talking about one of his latest business endeavors titled Iconic 32. The lifestyle company and innovation studio launched approximately 15 months ago focuses on “branding and strategy work” for corporations, individuals, and organizations.
He added that Iconic 32 uses “pop culture to promote social good.”
“I’m part of a pop culture phenomenon and people used the energy and the power of that to promote something that I thought was pretty evil.”
According to Yoba, the Fox network’s edit after the series premiered was that a main character should have a “shocking death at the season finale.”
“I got the ticket, and so I went out like a champ,” said Yoba. He went on to say now it’s all about his blossoming company Iconic 32: “Building a company is part of the American Dream or the dream of anyone in the world that has an idea to build something from nothing.”
“For me, Richard Branson honestly was my hero as a kid, and I’m not a billionaire yet, so the stakes are pretty high to get to the status that I need to get to to do the work that is meaningful. You only make a lot of money so you can give it away and do some good stuff.”
Watch Roland Martin, actor Malik Yoba, and the NewsOne Now panel featuring Lauren Victoria Burke, Ray Baker, and Goldie Taylor discuss the controversy around Yoba’s exit from the breakout hip-hop drama and what his next moves are.
Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.