Lee Daniels and Jussie Smollett Got Death Threats Over ‘Empire’s’ Gay Storyline

lee-daniels-taraji-henson-jussie-smollettEmpire co-creator and executive producer Lee Daniels revealed Sunday at the 2015 Produced By Conference in Los Angeles that he and Jussie Smollett, who plays the gay character Jamal, have received violent threats from some of the show’s audience.

“I have to relate to these people honestly,” Daniels said of the show’s diverse audience, “that trash can scene? It happened.”

He’s referring to a flashback scene in which a young Jamal is put into a trash can by his father, a furious Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard), after Lucious discovers Jamal dressing up in his mother’s clothing and strutting around the house.

“Homophobia is real. It exists… Jussie and I both get death threats. But we will continue to do our thing,” Daniels told attendees on the Paramount Pictures lot.

Empire returns to Fox for a second, 18-episode season on Sept. 23.

‘The Sex Is Continually Off The Chain.’ – Lee Daniels Dishes On His Relationship With Younger Boo

lee-danielsLee Daniels has never shied away from his sexuality since stepping into the mainstream, following the success of such films as Precious, The Butler, and now his Fox show, Empire. But for the first time ever, the 55-year-old critically-acclaimed director is putting it all out there when it comes to his five-year relationship with 33-year-old boyfriend Jahil Fisher and the joys of their union (the sex) as well as the insecurities (the age difference) and what makes their partnership more special than ones he had in the past. Both men were profiled in Out Magazine earlier this month and this is what Daniels had to say about the man by his side and how they make their relationship work.

On what attracted him to Fisher:

“I heard his voice before I saw him, and that’s what attracted me first — the laughter. Then I was blown away by his sense of humor. He’s pure and in the moment, and he doesn’t have a poker face. When he’s happy, it’s like happiness on steroids, and his physical features change if he’s upset. I hide my stuff well — I’ve learned to. But he doesn’t. And he makes me laugh. It’s a completely different mind-set: He introduced me to The Real Housewives of Atlanta and he’s best friends with the Kardashians’ hairstylist. He’s very hip, and he brings all of that into my antiquated way of thinking.” Continue reading