‘Empire’ praised for taking on police brutality

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Trai Byers plays Andre Lyon on the Fox hit series "Empire."

“Empire” waded into  Black Lives Matter Wednesday night and the hit Fox series is being hailed for it.

The network has found success with the show which follows the travails of the Lyons, an African American family in the music industry.

At the end of Wednesday’s episode oldest Lyon son Andre is roughed up by New York City police officers as he moves boxes from his old home. The screen then goes black.

The scene resonated with many viewers who took to social media to praise it.

It was only the second episode of season 3 of the series. “Empire” writer Carlito Rodriguez told The Hollywood Reporter there had been discussion about addressing police brutality during season 2.

Law enforcement’s use of force has become a racially charged issue in recent years with fatal police shootings of African American men in Ferguson, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and other US cities.

The writers were not trying to be topical or “tap into a hot button issue,” he said, just reflecting an all-too-common experience for some African Americans.

“Unfortunately, in the world we live in, this is fast becoming an everyday thing,” Rodriguez said. “And some of us in that writer’s room, we come from the kind of backgrounds where getting pulled over at gunpoint has become routine.”


  • Opinion8d

    All too common for SOME african americans. Maybe they can tackle the transgender issue in the next episode -something this all too common for some transgenders……

    Why don’t they address the facts! More whites are killed by police?!?! Why are so many black people uncooperative with the police?? The true hypocrisy is that blacks will say they are scared of the police and worry about the cops shooting them, yet everyone who gets shot is uncooperative!!! Clearly they’re not that scared because the normal reaction would be to cooperate then and be on your best behavior. The media continues this bogus story of police brutality like it’s an epidemic and yet, doesn’t address the culture of disrespect for LEO in the black community that leads to these problems.

  • Always Outspoken

    The scenario portrayed on Empire was, IMO, a biased and exaggerated one.

    It portrayed a couple of cops maliciously and outrageously harassing a man who was not suspected of committing a crime, did not attempt to flee, was not aggressive towards them, and was not armed.

    That’s not exactly an accurate portrayal of reality 99.9% of the time.

  • Huh !

    “Unfortunately, in the world we live in, this is fast becoming an everyday thing,” WRONG !!!
    What has become an everyday thing is, young black people being very loud, vulgar, disrespectful and hostile if confronted for any reason ! I say this because some young black people were talking very loudly with every other word being profanity while congregating around the door of a store, I said excuse me can I get thru and all hell broke loose…Their replies: I can stand anywhere I want f**ker, go around a**hole, who you talkin at f**ker …and a whole lot more ! So in disbelief, I stood there wondering what just happened and after they ranted a minute they walked away !
    It;s an attitude, a chip on the shoulder that’s being taught to kids of all races that’s got to stop !!!

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