Empire Updates: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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(Image Courtesy of tvguide.com)

(Image Courtesy of tvguide.com)


Earlier this month, I wrote about the water-down attempt of Diddy claiming that the story behind the powerful show, Empire, was based off his life.  The allegation has died down since I wrote about it, but with the season finale airing just last week, there have been other stories arising! You will not believe what has been said now.

Iman Shumpert and Teyana Taylor Resemblance

(Image courtesy of eurweb.com)

(Image courtesy of eurweb.com)


(Image courtesy of Billboard.com)

(Image courtesy of Billboard.com)


In recent news, NBA star Iman Shumpert has claimed that former Empire couple Hakeem Lyon (played by Bryshere Y. Gray) and Tiana Brown (played by Serayah McNeil) is a carbon copy of him and R&B singer girlfriend, Teyana Taylor. Shumpert believes that he and his boo should have received at least some credit for the drastically similar resemblances. In an interview with the Northeast Ohio Media Group, Shumpert shared:


“They’re using my girl’s character, her style, her look and she’s not getting anything for it,” Shumpert said of Teyana Taylor, a real-life R&B singer, dancer and actress who is Shumpert’s girlfriend. “They didn’t even change her name. They could have at least let my girl audition for the part instead of stealing her character completely. And come on man, they’re really using a guy with a flat-top like me. Come on. That’s ridiculous. They never called us. We were blindsided. We found out by our family and fans when the show aired.”


There have been no responses back from producers of Empire but it seems as though this is simply another claim gone to the wind. The resemblances are similar but I do not think that it is enough to make a big stir about!


Empire cast member gets the boot

(Image courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk)

(Image courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk)


Malik Yoba, known on the show as Luscious Lyon’s (played by Terrence Howard) right hand man, Vernon Turner, was killed in the jaw-dropping two-hour season finale that premiered last week. Although, it may have been a surprise to the audience, Yoba apparently knew that it was coming. Co-creator Lee Daniels is the one who broke the news that Yoba’s service would no longer be needed. In a live TMZ interview, Yoba shared this statement:


“To this day, I don’t know — in the infinite wisdom — who thought it was the best approach, but someone did. I never got a clear answer on it. But it wasn’t about the work or ethics or work ethics. It was the plot line. Vernon’s gone, but Malik lives on. And — as I’ve told you, Chuck, in private — it’s a great opportunity to push forward the work that I’m doing in terms of building my own empire, if you will.”


While he may have been tactful in his response about the termination of his character, there have been speculations behind drug abuse that ultimately led to the Yoba’s character being killed off. On The Inquisitr, a comment from an insider gave a little more insight on how the events really took place.


“Malik Yoba is back on drugs and he was making everyone on the set uncomfortable. One star of the show even threatened to quit during the 10th episode, but then they upped their pay to convince them to stay. Fox caught wind of what was going on and gave Lee Daniels an ultimatum: ‘You tell Malik he’s fired or we will.’ Fox also threatened to shelve the show indefinitely if Daniels didn’t do as he was told. So he did, and the rest is history.”


Lately, Yoba and Daniels have both remained quiet about the drug allegations, it is fair to say that the finale flawlessly held my attention. Without the Yoba’s character as the star witness for Luscious, the plot only gets crazier and I am even more excited for the next season to begin.

Empire Tops the Charts

Empire_The Soundtrack_FINAL

(Image Courtesy of Fox.com)



On a more positive note, it was announced by Billboard.com that the Empire soundtrack has topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at number one. This feat has left another title of being the first under the cast’s belt by becoming the first television series to do this.

Although, I despised the all the singing in the beginning (I am NOT a musical fan at all) phases of the show, I catch myself humming along to certain songs. I cannot help it – they are just that catchy! I hope that the momentum for next season’s songs are just as strong!

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Brea Thompson is a junior studying Communication at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since coming to campus, Brea has been honing her writing skills through organizational projects such as the Student Senate Public Relations Committee and the Communication Association. She is an avid believer that storytelling is the most powerful way to inform, communicate and persuade an audience. When Brea is not writing, she enjoys thrifting, crafting do-it-yourself projects and looking for new hair products!

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