Culture

So folks want to protest Empire! Wait What?

This image was on a FB page

This image was on a FB page

There are petitions circulating and social media pages in the land of Hotep that want to you to boycott Empire.

Why protest Empire? Their reasons are because the father is a hip hop mogul who sold drugs. The ex-wife just got out of jail. One son is a lazy rapper, the another son is married to a White woman and the third son is gay. For them, it is about making Black people look bad. I am like really? Now you care about morality and image? Where the hell have you been?

They hate Empire but have no problem making these men rich!

They hate Empire but have no problem making these men rich!

I have several questions. Where are the objections about Being Mary Jane? In that show, a Black woman was messing with a married Black man while taking care of her sorry ass family. I guess that is OK because she was screwing a Black man and she is taking care of her family. What about Power? Power is about a Black man drug dealer who is married to a Black woman, and he is screwing a Latina. How about the critically acclaimed show The Wire where darn near every Black person on that show was a drug dealer or nefarious? Oh, and the writers of that show were darn near all White men. I guess that was a realistic depiction of Black life.

Hotep logic

Hotep logic

You know why people who complain about Empire are silent about the shows I mentioned and others? Because those show are mostly Black straight male centered. Black men are in power and control. Black men are not countered or questioned by powerful characters as they are in Empire, HTGAWM and Scandal. They are not the center of the Black universe. They exist with others who share power with them. Notice how they only want to attack a show where one of teh GAYZ is one of the most compelling characters. Heck, most of us are rooting for him. TEAM JAMAL! Notice they only want to attack a show where a Black woman isn’t begging gawd for a good Black man, she isn’t saving or sacrificing for the entire family, and she isn’t acting against her interests! You know exactly where I am going. These people are really homophobic and misogynist asses hiding under the guise of Black power. They can’t stand to see marginalized Black groups in control, in power, being desired and dominating. Why? Because these homophobic and misogynist asses want to dominate them. It is against their interests to see the evil te-lie-vision make Black women and our Black LGBTQ family look ambitious, powerful, desirable and be flawed human beings. These are humanizing images Black people in the entertainment industry (especially rappers) have countered for 30 years for a profit.

Read: Black women must avoid Hoteps at all costs and my tips on how to spot them!

Here is one more point I want to make because it needs to be said. Where was your outrage during thirty gawd damn years of humiliating Black women for cash by Black men in the rap industry? Where were you when your favorite crapper, singer or comedian was dissing Black women for their White audiences? Where is your outrage now? You are silent like a mug when your favorites entertainers are calling us b’s, h’s and f’s. Many of y’all do it now and see nothing wrong with it.

Read: Black Men In The Entertainment Industry Who Have Dissed Black Women That Black Women Still Support.
Read: Part Deuce: Black Men In The Entertainment Industry Who Have Dissed Black Women That Black Women Still Support.

So what do you want? The good old days! We remember when light-skinned Black and biracial women were and still are the bastion of Black respectability and beauty. They are always portrayed as the wives of the dark-skinned all-knowing, forever wise, and deified Black man. Y’all know. The good old days, when the wife’s trusty dark-skinned sidekick was always portrayed man-less, angry and the target of the Black husbands “jokes.” The good old days where we pretended like we didn’t have LGBTQ family knowing the people who helped raise us were LGBTQ.  It isn’t all about you and now the shoe is on the other foot.

I am convinced y’all won’t be satisfied until you see Black women on TV discussing the mystical healing properties of shea butter, the Willie Lynch Letter, Hidden Colors 999.1, promoting polygamy (nothing wrong with it unless you are against polyandry) and how to submit a Black kang. Y’all won’t be satisfied until we pretend our LGBTQ family does not exist and won’t remind your self-hating ass to come out of the closet.

As much as I love Empire because it is a modern version of Dynasty, I have a lot of problems with it. Especially where the main characters are all light-skinned, and the help (all the assistants) are all dark-skinned. Let’s talk about that. Until then your hypocritical behind needs to get you a life. Here is something better. Get the heck of off the net and create your own.

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11 comments

  1. Aaron 5 February, 2015 at 22:01 Reply

    I don’t like “Empire.” It makes Black women look loud, ghetto, oversexed and ratchet. It makes Black men look the same way. Empire comes off like a bad B.E.T music video that someone wanted to turn into a T.V show. I am sick of shows about Black people that are about Hip Hop and Basketball. Progressive Black women would stay away from that as well.

    I give Shondaland and TGIT a “pass.” Why? Because on Shonda’s shows she DOESN’T portray loud, ghetto, booty shaking Black women. Notice in both Scandal and HTGAWM. Neither Black women have For Black Women-What not to buy. made their fortunes by SINGING, RAPPING, BOOTY SHAKING etc. All the ways that the world says that are the ONLY WAYS in which Black women can? On Shonda’s shows she portrays Black women as dominating fields that ONLY White males are allowed too. Shonda portrays BOTH of her Black female characters as “raceless.” Something MOST Black filmmakers and writers are AFRAID TO DO!! You don’t focus on race in Shonda’s shows. Whereas on “Empire” THE WHOLE SHOW revolves around the character being “just Black.” And doing things that Blacks stereotypically do…”Singing, Rapping, Dancing. And the Black women on Shondaland are FREE to exercise their choice in mates irregardless of COLOR!! Whereas, NOTICE on “Being Mary Jane” and “Empire” notice the ONLY IR couplings that are ALLOWED TO EXIST are between BM/WW? Now, if that doesn’t get more Black male centered than I don’t know what does?

    TO ME…”Empire” isn’t even that WELL WRITTEN of a show. Neither is “Being Mary Jane.” It just became the thing to watch because Black people were so STARVED for anything OUTSIDE of the usual i.e Tyler Perry, Steve Harvey etc. And believe me…just because a show is POPULAR DOESN’T make it GOOD!!

    If you ask me!! Black people are respond better to “Empire” than they do Shondaland because Empire has MORE RELATABLE Blackistani characters. The father is an ex-pimp/drug dealer. The mother is an ex-hoodrat with legal problems. The son is a GANGSTA RAPPER(ROLLEYES). The OTHER SON is an R&B singer. The OLDEST SON is a successful Black man MARRIED to a White woman.

    Black people can relate better to this better than they can to TWO RICH Black women who have VERY LITTLE TIES to Blackistan aka Da Hood.’ Who BOTH have relationships with Rich, Powerful, White men(something that is EXTREMELY PROHIBITED in Blackistan), who run THEIR OWN multiracial very successful companies. Notice on Both Shonda’s shows neither Liv nor Annaliese operate in an ALL-BLACK social circle. IN FACT, neither one has ANY Black friends AT ALL. Another reason Blackistan-NITES are VERY UNCOMFORTABLE with BOTH of these shows.

    One thing that I THINK is VERY UNFORTUNATE(aside from it being an ALL-BLACK cast) for “Empire” is that their is NO ONE that the White mainstream media can TRULY make a STAR out of on that show. AND THAT IS(I WILL ADMIT) is UNFAIR. Taraji P. Henson WHO I THINK IS GORGEOUS BTW…doesn’t have the “looks” or “breeding” that would make her a “Glamour Girl” like Kerry Washington and she DOESN’T have the same “acting ability” that Viola Davis has. She is CAUGHT in the MIDDLE!! Time will tell if this show gets any AWARD NOMS!!

    I think this is the reason why Blackistan responds MORE FAVORABLE to “Being Mary Jane” and “Empire” than they do Shondaland. However, Shonda has “built up” such a LARGE FAN BASE that she DOESN’T need Black supporters ANYMORE!! And I think BOTH “Empire” and “Being Mary Jane” both STILL DEPEND on a LARGE BLACK FAN BASE

    • Terry 6 February, 2015 at 23:09 Reply

      It kinda seems like your measure of a “good” or “positive” representation of black women is whether or not they associate with a white people. That’s….problematic.

      • robyn 15 February, 2015 at 12:01 Reply

        I agree. I’ve never watched Empire, but it is not a pissing contest. I love Scandal and HTGAWM for their strong classy black women characters but I also agree with what the author of this comment is saying, however, what is so wrong with black people getting money?? We know it’s hard for black actors/actresses to get paid without portraying a stereotype. Let them get paid, and we can also support other shows that show black people career positive roles. We need to see a variety of blacks on TV, not just the picture perfect ones.

  2. Cherri 5 February, 2015 at 22:57 Reply

    “I guess that is OK because she was screwing a Black man and she is taking care of her family.”
    Cosign.
    Cookie makes them uncomfortable. Loud, single, mouthy Black women is always seen as a negative. She’s supposed to be the loser, the butt of the jokes who no one takes seriously and expects to fail. But not in Empire. She is a force to be reckoned with, that sits in on business meetings, has an assistant, makes deals & major power moves. She doesn’t have to give anyone a blow job just to get them to do basic sh*t (like take their bipolar medicine. ha! I thought that scene was…interesting). She just has to look out for Cookie and she makes no apologies for it. Honestly, I see no real difference between Cookie and Gordon Gekko from Wallstreet.

    That being said, however, I am pretty confident that a team of non-Black women writers/producers are going to end up screwing up the image of a Black woman lead. Non-Black women have proven themselves incapable of telling our stories very well or portraying us fairly. If they don’t get more Black women involved in this project, they will screw this up, it’s just a matter of time (pessimist, much?)

    • Lady A 6 February, 2015 at 09:11 Reply

      Thank you, I prefer your comment oppose to the one above you, drenched in respectability politics, and was all over the place. I agree with everything you said.

      I love these shows that have black women as leads because there are a variety of types of black women doing the leading character.

      I also agree with OP’s point about the black community being bitter the show isn’t black male centered. We give Tyler Perry shows a pass, The Wire, movies like Baby Boy, Menace to society, Power, etc because it’s centered around black men and we’re so suppose to empathize and relate to the characters because they’re black and male.

      I think a lot of the black community is offended to see black female characters not catering to or worshiping black men in the shows or movies and it makes them uncomfortable. I prefer more dominant roles like what Viola Davis is in and Taraji P Henson, two different characters same approach. There’s nothing more intimidating than to see a unapologetic dominant black woman, whether she’s a television character or real life.

  3. Jadesola 6 February, 2015 at 05:21 Reply

    Thank you for highlighting the light skin privilege that is heavily shown in empire! I love your blog…love from the UK

  4. firefly88 11 February, 2015 at 20:00 Reply

    Wow if, you don’t like it just change the channel. Bougie you are right these people whine and complain way too much and are hypocrites to boot.

  5. Kevin 12 February, 2015 at 10:33 Reply

    Empire is an entirely accurate depiction of people, regardless of ethnicity. They come from negative upbringing…okay? A lot of people do. Your past is not your future.

    What’s wrong with the son being gay? That’s pretty normal these days.

    The light-skinned brother married to a white woman? That’s called progress. They should be celebrating the fact that their marriage is irrelevant to the plot. Normally the only reason a black man and white women (especially a blonde one) would ever be together would be for the scandal of it all.

    Speaking of Scandals, how come they aren’t complaining about Olivia Pope being obsessed with white dude after white dude?

    Anyway, the fact that they only see the negative displays their ignorance. Luscious’ fiancée is from a well off family and not ghetto in the least. And it’s just a show about a family that worked their ass off and has a ton of problems…like most families.

    I mean there’s a show on primetime with an all black cast and black writers. That’s awesome. Want to boycott something then boycott that garbage Blackish that is so unsubtly bigoted.

    Anyway, that’s just my take.

    Oh, and The Wire, that was based on fact, so, yeah.

    • Kevin 12 February, 2015 at 10:41 Reply

      And one more thing, the two younger sons are hardly light-skinned, especially the youngest, and his girlfriends are both very dark…neither of which are help. It only makes sense that they would be lighter since, oh I don’t know, the stars of the show are light.

      And for you to criticize their problems with the show only to turn it around and turn it into a light-skinned dark skinned situation is disgusting. How the fuck can we expect anyone else to accept us as equal when people like you see me as a lesser black simply because I’m lighter? Making a judgement because of a person’s skin color…let that sit for a while.

  6. Shakti 13 February, 2015 at 05:06 Reply

    You hit it on the head. Such foolishment! I need for folks to be capable of multi tasking & prioritizing – it’s possible to be politically active & watch guilty pleasure tv, it’s possible to have your shit together & enjoy what some might consider “ratchetness.”

  7. Yolanda 24 February, 2015 at 06:30 Reply

    I love and adore Empire. It takes me back to the good ole days of Dallas, Dynasty & Knots Landing. It’s good fun & escapism & I love the gay boy. Jayz is a former drug dealer & has ignorant lyrics but Black people revere him, Beyonce dresses/dances like a slut but Black people worship her like Jesus. Then there’s Lil Wayne, Nikki Minaj, et al. And I won’t get started on Olivia Pope. I approached the show with skepticism but I was hooked after 3.5 minutes. Yeah, I know, we want positive portrayals of Blacks on tv but we excuse ignorant cooning & immorality like Martin & Being Mary Jane. Some folk just have to have something to complain about.

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