It’s safe to say Fox’s Empire has felt the wrath of the Jussie Smollett controversy since the series lead actor staged a racial and homophobic attack against himself, disappointing fans and people worldwide. Taraji P. Henson who stars as Cookie in the show recently said the atmosphere on set was “great” but according to reports the important offset happenings, such as viewers watching the show, isn’t doing so well.
Variety reports that the second episode of Empire, that aired after Jussie got arrested and subsequently charged for 16 counts of felony charges, was the lowest rated in the series history. The publication details how the March 20th episode scored a 1.1 rating and was watched by under 4 million viewers. Including last week’s midseason premiere (and it’s low numbers) the show has dropped by 11% in the ratings and 10% in total viewership.
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“Oh my God, these past couple of weeks have been a freakin’ roller coaster,” the show’s creator, Lee Daniels said in an Instagram video.
“We have…me and my cast have experienced pain and anger and sadness and frustration. I really don’t know how to deal with it, you know? It’s happened…everything that’s happened which you are seeing tonight, prior to the incident. And this is not what the show was made for. The show is made to bring America together…to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets.”