‘Empire’ Will Incorporate Black Lives Matter Into Its Storyline This Season


Kaitlan Collins Contributor
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“Empire” will have an episode on its upcoming season that focuses on police brutality and the Black Lives Matter moment.



The executive producer of the wildly popular television show said it will feature an episode where Andre Lyon — played by Trai Byers — gets racially profiled by a police officer.

“Andre’s story is the story about Andre becoming woke — connecting to his blackness in a way he hasn’t before,” Ilene Chaiken told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s a sensitive subject especially because I’m a black man.”

“I have a black brother. My nephews just came to visit me and looking at them and thinking this is the world that they’re going to grow up in. It’s important that we tell these stories. But it’s also important I think, for this story to be a part of the collective conversation.”

(Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

(Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Lee Daniels, the show’s co-creator, said it was inspired by something that happened to his son.

“I came into the writer’s room in the every beginning, and said these are the issues I want to talk about,” Daniels said. “This is what is going on in my head right now and this is what is affecting with my family. And we act out what was happening with my son through Andre.”

(Photo: Empire screen grab)

(Photo: Empire screen grab)

“Empire’s” other co-creator said they have wanted to talk about Black Lives Matter since the second season.

“It always felt like we were jamming it in as opposed to making it an organic part of the plot,” Danny Strong said.

“Then the way it was broken in season 3 made it a really great part of the story. We don’t want to address social issues to just be preachy. We want it to be in the fabric of the story. I thought it was really smart. Now I think it’s going to be a really cool storyline, really resonant and about what’s happening right now.”

The third season of “Empire” is scheduled to premiere Sept. 21.