Appearing on Larry King Now, Lee Daniels said that Empire has made gays okay in hip hop.
Daniels’ Empire centers on a fictional hip hop music and entertainment company run by Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard), a former drug dealer, and his family. Lyon is looking to groom one of his three sons to take over the family business, including Jamal (Jussie Smollett), who is openly gay.
Empire, which is broadcast on Fox, is currently in its fourth season.
“Has Empire had an effect on the hip hop world?” host Larry King asked.
“I think so. I hope so,” Daniels answered. “I think that it’s broadened and made gays okay.”
“I think there’s going to be a certain amount of homophobia, regardless. Period. People gonna hate me because I am who I am,” the show’s out co-creator said.
When King asked about homophobia in the Black community, Daniels answered that he could “go on [his] straight boy swag and fool anybody.”
“But to live in my skin and to tell the truth is the most important thing on Earth to me,” he added.