Zac Efron NOT Joining Empire, Despite Reports

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Zac Efron Empire

By Shari Weiss |

Zac Efron Empire

(Getty Images)

Zac Efron is NOT joining “Empire” for its second season, despite a flurry of reports from sites that apparently can’t identify a joke or be bothered to fact-check. Gossip Cop, however, can once again separate fact from fiction.

Outlets like VH1 and AllHipHop wrongly claimed Efron was the latest star to be cast on the hit Fox series after the network announced plans for the upcoming second season on Monday. AllHipHop specifically wrote, “The plot will also have a twist when a fourth Lyon son is brought into the mix, played by Zac Efron.” This is 100 percent false.

The confusion appears to stem from a Vulture article, which correctly reported that Ne-Yo will be one of the celebrity contributors for the new batch of episodes. At the end of the story, the Vulture author wrote there will be a “crazy cliffhanger for the midseason hiatus in which a fourth Lyon son emerges. He’ll be played by Zac Efron.” Given that Vulture is usually a credible source of television news, many apparently did not realize the comments were made in jest, a nod to the show’s over-the-top, soapy plot twists.

So, no, Efron is NOT booked to appear on “Empire,” and Gossip Cop wishes more outlets fact-checked before running wildly with otherwise unconfirmed claims. Just last month, Gossip Cop debunked a social media hoax that claimed Fox had unexpectedly canceled the breakout show. Like this new misinformation, that was spread widely but utterly untrue, too.

As Gossip Cop reported earlier, fans, however, CAN look forward to seeing Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, and Chris Rock when the show returns this fall. Series stars Jussie Smollett and Bryshere Y. Gray shared their excitement about those CONFIRMED castings on Monday’s “Good Morning America.” Gossip Cop will continue to have updates on the new season throughout the summer hiatus.


  1. Gossip Cop
  2. Mediaite
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  4. The Mary Sue