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Empire creator says he received death threats for portraying gay relationships

Naith Payton June 1, 2015

Empire creator Lee Daniels says he has received death threats for the gay relationships in the show.

He said he and star Jussie Smollett have received the threats for Mr Smollett’s character, who is the gay son of a hip hop star.

Mr Daniels said at a producers conference in Los Angeles: “Homophobia is real. It exists.

“Jussie and I both get death threats. But we will continue to do our thing.”

Mr Smollett came out recently in a touching interview with Ellen DeGeneres.

He told her: “It was very, very important to me, as my first performance and talk show, that it was with you.

“You’ve been such an inspiration to so many, but also to me. What you’ve done in the LGBT community is very much, in my opinion, kind of like what Michael Jackson did in the black community — just that you are who you are.

“He was just Michael and you’re just Ellen.

“It was really important to make sure that it got across that there is no closet. There’s never been a closet that I’ve been in. I don’t own a closet.”

He went on to say the interview had been a bigger deal to everyone else than it had been to him.

 

More: Empire, Homophobia, Jussie Smollett, Lee Daniels, US

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