NEWS: “Empire” Ratings From Test Audience Plunged Following Gay Kiss Scene
“Empire” Ratings From Test Audience Plunged Following Gay Kiss Scene
“The test audiences they showed this to — the ratings plummeted," Cecilia Kang said regarding a same-sex kissing act on the show. "They did not like that scene at all."
During a recent conversation with HuffPost Live, Washington Post’s Entertainment Reporter Cecilia Kang spoke with the publication about Fox’s Hip Hop-themed show, Empire.
While discussing the show’s more rabble-rousing moments, Kang pointed to an early scene where the character of Jamal shared a same-sex kiss with his boyfriend, Michael. She subsequently recalled a discussion that she’d had with Empire’s co-creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong regarding the scene.
“One character that's quite interesting right now is Jamal and the storyline about homophobia in the African-American community which I think has been discussed quite a bit," Kang said. "It shows also a lot of daring by the show’s creators.
“I spoke to Danny Strong one of the creators along with Lee Daniels, and Danny had told me that actually the very first scene when Jamal was kissing his partner, the test audiences that they showed this to — the ratings plummeted," she added. "They did not like that scene at all. Danny was asked later what should we do about it and he said, ‘Absolutely nothing at all. Why should we take this off just because people are uncomfortable? We wanna push buttons with this show, we wanna deal with real issues.’”
Cecilia Kang's conversation with HuffPost Live can be viewed below: