‘Empire’ Slapped with Class Action Lawsuit
Fox hit series Empire is riding high on success. But along the propelling road of riches, there are sure to be bumps.
For the network, that bump has appeared in the form of a class action lawsuit filed against the show for filming at a juvenile detention center that reportedly left a hefty number of underage inmates in “lockdown.”
The lawsuit document, obtained by Deadline.com, states that, “Three times during the summer of 2015, the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center was placed on lockdown so that it could be used as a film set to shoot scenes of Empire. Numerous areas that are essential to the JTDC’s mission of education and rehabilitating children housed there–including the JTDC’s school, its facilities for family visits, its only outdoor recreation yard, its library, and its chapel—were
placed off limits so that Fox’s agents and employees could use them to stage and film the show.”
Two former residents of the detention center filed the suit.
In addition, the documents note the “psychologically damaging” situations this placed the teens in by leaving them crammed in their cells with nothing to do.
A touch of insult to injury, over the course of the three episodes filmed in June, July and August and aired September 23 and 30- one including an episode with Chris Rock, in which he and Terrence Howard’s character had a fatal face-off – Fox network saw a major profit increase.
The suit further claims that the actions taken by Twentieth Century Fox Television, Inc., Fox Broadcasting Company, Inc., Fox Networks Group, Inc. and Fox Television Group exercised the “abuse of power and authority” in that, they were done with the “intent to cause, or were in reckless disregard of the probability that their conduct would cause, severe emotional distress to the children housed at the JTDC.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only financial and character woe the network and show is facing.
Recently, a federal judge denied a motion by Fox and Empire co-creators Danny Strong and Lee Daniels to dismiss claims by Sophia Eggleston, that “Cookie Lyon” played by Taraji P. Henson, is based off of her 2009 memoir.
Add to that the lawsuit filed by Terrence Howard’s former management accusing him of unpaid Empire commissions.
Whew. This Empire domination is taking some major blows.