Lee Daniels Tackles Black Homophobia With Newly-Renewed Empire


Danny Strong and Lee Daniels' Empire doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Fox renewed the hip-hop soap for Season 2 after only two air shows.  Daniels revealed at the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour, he plans to use his glitzy sudser to combat homophobia.

Here's an excerpt of what Daniels had to say on the subject at TCA:

"Homophobia is rampant in the African-American community, and men are on the DL. They don't come out [and] they're killing our women," creator Lee Daniels told critics at the Television Critics Association winter previewsSaturday. "I wanted to blow the lid off of it, and of homophobia, in our community."

Empire is the saga of an ailing father desperate to name one of his three sons as heir apparent to his recording dynasty. Jamal (Jussie Smollett), Lucious Lyon's (Terrence Howard) middle son, is  a musical prodigy like his father. Unlike Lucious, Jamal is homosexual, which is father cannot tolerate.

Howard stated during the panel:

"I'm glad that I can show the African-American community that this is what you're doing to your son, this is what you're doing to your nephew, this is what you're doing to the kid down the street," Howard said.

So glad to see a soap opera balancing sex, glamor and violence with social responsibility again. One Life to Live and All My Children creator Agnes Nixon is probably beaming.

Empire airs Wednesday nights at 9/8C on Fox.