Tavis Smiley slams ‘Empire’

PoliticKING With Larry King

“Empire” may be a massive ratings hit and one of the biggest sensations in pop culture history, but that doesn’t mean that everybody is a fan of the show. One of the show’s biggest detractors is now TV journalist and political commentator Tavis Smiley, who recently blasted the series for showing the worst of the Black community.

Smiley gave his opinion on “Empire” during a recent interview on “PoliticKING with Larry King,” where he discussed the recent boom of success for black TV shows on prime-time television. Although Smiley acknowledged the success of the show, he criticized it for shining a negative light on the Black community.

“There is a debate in the Black community that hasn’t really surfaced, hasn’t really boiled to the top yet, but I hear it in barbershops and other places,” Smiley said, “that whether the problem with ‘Empire’ is that it advances the worst of every pathology that black people have — crime and drug dealing and this and that and the other. A lot of people are looking for positive characters that may come out in the second season. But the first season, everybody is ahhh!”

In response, King compared the criticism that “Empire” has received from the Black community to Italian-American politician Mario Cuomo “hating The Godfather” and saying that the iconic film was “too well done.”

“Exactly!” Smiley replied.

Smiley definitely touched upon a hot debate within the Black community. Do you agree? Is “Empire” a bad representation of the Black community?

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