*Lawyers for FOX on Thursday filed a motion to dismiss the copyright infringement lawsuit brought in April by Ron Newt, who refers to himself as a “gangsta pimp.”
Although “Empire” creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong have said in numerous interviews – and again in its Oct. 15 motion to dismiss – that the show is “a modern take on Shakespeare’s King Lear,” Newt says the hit television series is substantially similar to his life story, which he says he pitched to now “Empire” star Terrence Howard in 2010.
Newt calls his tale that of a black man rising with “his three sons from the ghetto and a life of crime into the world of the music industry.”
Aside from the pilot script having already been written before Howard was cast, Fox counters in its filing, “in contrast to Plaintiff’s crudely written, violent, regretful autobiographical Works, Fox’s Empire is a dialogue-rich, soap opera-styled family drama, a fictional account of a close-knit family and their music empire…” Fox also notes that the music business portions of Newt’s story is relativity small compared to his depictions of life as a “San Francisco-area pimp and drug dealer.”
Fox seeks a November 24 hearing on its motion.
Lee Daniels again told TV critics in August that “Empire” has roots in Shakespeare, not a “self-described gangsta pimp,” as noted in the network’s motion to dismiss.