Since its inception, “Empire” has not only proved that an all-Black cast can dominate primetime TV, but it also proved that America was ready to see the fleshed out story of a gay Black man in the character of Jamal Lyon, played by out actor Jussie Smollett. Although the series has been applauded for prominently featuring a Black gay storyline, it’s also been blasted by some angry homophobic viewers. But series star Taraji P. Henson had a special message for those angry fans that she shared this week.
On Sunday, Henson made headlines when she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series and gave out cookies to other actors on the way to accept her award. But besides giving a phenomenal acceptance speech, which saw her scold producers for trying to cut her off, Henson recently spoke with People and sent out a powerful message to fans who were angry over “Empire’s” inclusion of gay characters and storylines.
“We ignore that. That’s nonsense and that’s fear, so we understand where that’s coming from, so there’s nothing to comment on that. The numbers speak for themselves,” she said, including the series’ gargantuan ratings. “People are dealing with this, it’s not a joke, that’s why it’s in the script. It’s not for show, it’s not for sensationalism. It’s because people are struggling with this. And that’s why we shed light on it. You can’t make everybody happy, we don’t try to. We just try to touch and affect lives and I think we have. We’re always going to have haters, so here’s to all my haters! I’ll send you cookies, thanks.”
It’s the perfect response from such a dynamic actress and we wish more celebs were as outspoken as Henson.