Daniels addressed his intent to dive into the issue at a recent television conference as he noted the depiction of the relationship between “Empire’”s lead character, Lucious Lyon, with his gay son Jamal. The topic strikes a person nerve for the filmmaker, who admitted that his own father’s hostility toward gays frightened him.
As a result, Daniels is keen on the fact that the same attitudes his father displayed are being passed on from one generation to another with families around the world.
“What we’re trying to do is to give people the opportunity to see that what they’re doing is painful,” said Daniels, who believes if his father would have evolved in his thinking if he were alive today.
During the “Empire”’s first episode, Lyon’s open hostility towards Jamal is seen in a flashback as he is shown stuffing Jamal into a garbage can when he sees the young boy trying on his mother’s high heels.
“I’m glad that I can show the African-American community that this is what you’re doing to your son, this is what you’re doing to your nephew, this is what you’re doing to the kid down the street,” Terrence Howard, who stars on “Empire” as Lyon, told the Associated Press.
Jamal’s story has apparently captured the attention of viewers who have expressed their feelings about the character to the actor portraying him, Jussie Smollett.
, the actor who portrays Jamal, said he’s been overwhelmed by the response to the story line that he has seen in social media.
If there are viewers who can see themselves in Jamal, “that’s incredibly dope and I embrace that,” Smollett shared with the AP while noting that he’s been overwhelmed by the response Jamal’s story line has received on social media .
“Viewers want to see people who look like them on television,” he said. “They’re also interested in people that don’t look like them.”
“Right now we’re seeing people enjoy the culture of America, the culture of the world,” Daniels added. “We’re showing real life now.”