Forget what you heard about pettiness running rampant on the set of “Empire” because Jussie Smollett definitively shot down rumors of cast in-fighting.
There was buzz from The Daily Mail that Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard were stirring up all sorts of trouble on the set of “Empire.” According to the British paper, the onscreen animosity between Taraji and Grace Gealy (aka Boo Boo Kitty) was real. The Oscar nominee was also accused of vying for more camera time, and Terrence was largely responsible for having Malik Yoba’s character killed off.
The gossip didn’t have much time to circulate before Jussie spoke out about his co-stars. He didn’t have much to say on the matter, but he told B. Scott, “That’s all bullsh*t, 100% of it. We all love each other, period.”
Welp! We’re glad that’s settled because the show is facing a way bigger battle.
Real-life record label Empire Music is clapping back at a federal lawsuit filed by Twentieth Century Fox Television. Empire founder and CEO Ghazi Shami released a statement, claiming the show has been edging in on the label’s brand because of how Fox has been operating the actual music business attached to the show.
“Fox, through the Empire program, advertises, distributes, and streams music and sells downloads under the ‘Empire’ mark,” Ghazi stated. “This music shares the same search terms as EMPIRE’s music, the musical genres are identical, and the songs and albums are positioned in close proximity in online outlets such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon.com, and Spotify. It isn’t just a fictional show; they are functioning as a record label in the real world.”
Legal reps for the company took it step further, stating, “We are confident that this is a textbook trademark infringement case.”
In the past, Empire has worked with hip-hop acts like Kendrick Lamar, Migos and even Snoop Dogg. “EMPIRE was started over five years before the first broadcast of the show, the marks are identical, and they sell the same products to the same customers,” said Empire’s lawyer, Michael Hobbs of Troutman Sanders LLP. “The significant number of incidents of actual public confusion is disturbing.”
We wonder if Lee Daniels will find a way to work this into the next season of “Empire” because this looks like it could inspire tons of drama for the hit FOX show. The idea of Lucious stealing some intellectual property doesn’t seem that far-fetched, and it could make for a great storyline!