We love the creators of Empire for changing the face of TV…
In the course of TV history, we have seen many memorable American families from the Bunkers to the Bradys to the Bluths. But no family has changed the TV landscape more in recent memory than the Lyons. Empire — which tells the story of a music mogul, the woman who went to jail to protect their legacy, and the sons vying to be heirs to the family throne — is the rarest of programs, one that consistently grew its audience throughout its terrific first season. And with its unique look at super wealth, black culture and the 21st-century music industry, it’s easy to see why it attracts a diverse audience.
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But our three top reasons for loving them are easy to list. As middle son Jamal Lyon, openly gay actor Jussie Smollet’s performance illustrates the often painful and complicated relationships many gay sons have with their straight fathers. Series creator Lee Daniels — also openly gay — keeps the storytelling perfectly pitched at the interesection of a black Dynasty and #blacklivesmatter. And openly fabulous actress Taraji P. Henson, as family matriarch Cookie, has proven to be the mother of all mothers — fierce in both her fashion to her every line delivery. We may not know where Empire will take us in future seasons but one thing is already clear: The Lyons are a whole new kind of quintessential American TV family.
Visit the People We Love page to see our most recent LGBTQ honorees.
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Last modified: October 28, 2019