Empire creator Danny Strong appeared on Sway In The Morning to talk about both the show’s success and the backlash he has received for the negative image many feel he is portraying of black people.
In response to the backlash over the character Lucious Lyon being first a drug dealer and then amusic mogul, Strong revealed that Lyon’s story ismired in the real-life story of Jay Z. “The Jay Z story, which very much inspired Lucious Lyon, certain elements of Lucious Lyon, was that story,” he said.
He then went on to say, “So for me, I don’t think in terms of, Okay we have to be careful of certain things because of certain negative stereotypes. I view it as, The entire cast is African-American, we’re gonna have all different types of characters, and we’re gonna tell good stories. We’re not gonna sit here and play defense or think that our show is a representation as Black culture in its entirety. It’s not; it’s just this story.”
“It’s an American Dream story,” he added, noting that other stories use the criminal past storyline in Italian or Irish gangster movies. “This is metaphorical of so many people in America, how they rise up to power is through these means… Our goal is to make a great story.”
Check out the interview for yourself below.