‘Empire’ Creator Lee Daniels Won’t Even Speak to Jussie Smollett


I think I’m starting to understand why Jussie Smollett allegedly hate crimed himself. Page Six is reporting that Smollett and Empire creator Lee Daniels aren’t speaking to each other, and it’s not because of the alleged self-hate-crime.

One point of contention, we’re told, was that Daniels wanted now-disgraced musician Kelly to write songs for Smollett’s “Empire” character — and even suggested that Kelly work on the actor’s own album.

But we’re told Smollett wanted nothing to do with Kelly, who already had a bad reputation in the music industry. Smollett “put his foot down,” the source said. (A Fox rep denied Kelly ever wrote for the show or that Daniels asked him to do so.)

I can see both sides of this. R. Kelly is bad but also most people don’t really care about that at all. Chris Brown still has a career, Louis C.K. just put out his comeback special, Woody Allen’s memoir is a best-seller on Amazon; clearly, having a bunch of people not like you isn’t actually a detriment to having a career. But it’s Lee Daniels’ show, not Jussie Smollett’s show, he should get to make that call. Daniels and R. Kelly both denied having any working relationship, but that could also mean this idea just never got off the cork board.

Smollett kind of sounds like a prima donna, though.

Meanwhile, we’re told that Smollett would often complain to Fox execs about Daniels.

“It was things like that that did not sit well with Lee,” said the insider. “He [was frustrated by] Jussie because he was constantly going over his head to Fox about their creative differences.”

Let me present a hypothetical situation. A supporting player on a popular show wants to raise his profile. He’s constantly butting heads with his boss and complaining to the network but that just makes things worse for him. So then, and remember this is hypothetical, he sends himself a death threat to the studio, but no one cares. So then what he does is, and again, completely hypothetically, he hires two South African guys to fake beat him up on a security camera and files a false police report and it works for about a week until his story entirely falls apart but he spends months vowing the find the real hate crimers.

I can see why someone would be pissed if an actor when that far out of their way to undermine them to the network and the general public. If I were an EP on a show and one of my actors did that, I’d probably fire them and then film my hit show right outside their window so they couldn’t enjoy The Price is Right.

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Jim LaForte
Jim LaForte
1 year ago

I am of the thinking that Jussie played Lee and that they had a sexual relationship.

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