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Iman Shumpert is pretty sure that “Empire” drew some inspiration from his life, and he’s not happy about it.
Ratings for the hit FOX drama continue to rise, but Iman is not among those tuning in. The NBA player told Cleveland.com that he’s not a fan of the show because he’s believes that producers created Tiana from his girlfriend Teyana Taylor‘s image.
“I don’t watch that stuff, man. They’re using my girl’s character, her style, her look, and she’s not getting anything for it,” Iman accused. “They didn’t even change her name. They could have at least let my girl audition for the part instead of stealing her character completely.”
And he is absolutely convinced that Hakeem’s style is based on his own look. He continued, “Come on, man. They’re really using a guy with a flat-top like me. Come on. That’s ridiculous.”
He’s even more insulted that “Empire” jacked the couple’s style without their permission. “They never called us. We were blindsided,” said Iman. “We found out by our family and fans when the show aired.”
Perhaps if FOX has checked with them it wouldn’t be such a big deal. As it stands, Iman wouldn’t rule out the possibility of taking the “Empire” and its creators to court even if he isn’t the one that files suit.
“I don’t see how they can deny it. Everybody knows. Her fans are more mad about it than I am. I’m a ball player, but that’s her field. That’s what she does ” said Iman. “Me personally, I don’t plan on taking any action but I don’t know about her.”
Whether or not “Empire” producers used Iman and Teyana for inspiration is up for debate, but they should be flattered to be part of such a huge series. Somehow we don’t think he’d be making such stink if the show was a flop.