Although Jussie Smollett was mum on his personal life, his “Empire” co-star Malik Yoba shed a bit of light on Smollett and his sexuality recently during an interview with BlackFilm.com as he discussed the success of “Empire” while making parallels to his classic ‘90’s show “New York Undercover.” The following is part of Yoba’s BlackFilm.com interview:
What’s the feeling like being on a hit show?
Malik Yoba: Yeah. It’s good, man. It’s definitely good to be part of a show. Especially, this particularly show, but especially when all the predictors are there before it all happens. I knew that this would happen so I wasn’t surprised.
The show has the DNA of ‘New York Undercover’ for me and I was part of something that was revolutionary and groundbreaking twenty years ago. For me, from the beginning it was like déjà vu. So, with all the accolades and the love that it’s getting, it’s crazy. I’ve had that experience before. It’s just nice to know that people have finally decided if you put people who are underrepresented on television they’re going to show up to see themselves. And if it’s smart, if it’s funny, it has the right music and has the right fashion and has the right attitude then you’re going to win. You’ll win every time. It’s one of those things that you feel like, obviously, it’s great performances and music, and it’s a great cast. It’s all those things. But I think it speaks to a larger issue, which is people want to see themselves.
You’re the veteran of the group here, having experienced this nearly twenty years ago. Have you been telling these people as much as they’re seeing the love that it’s getting from its ratings wise and everything else, and said, ‘Okay, it’s great. But let’s make it last’?
Yoba: I just think that you have to move with integrity. You have to move with a larger sense of purpose. Because that is Malik Yoba’s personal philosophy. I don’t do this business for fame or money. I do it for purpose. I think that our show represents a huge opportunity to stay in the culture beyond entertainment value and there’s an intrinsic nature of you have the gay factor, right? So, obviously, Lee is gay. That was an important storyline for him. I think it’s important for people to see themselves. Even within the Black community. But if you aren’t really, really taking it off of screen and making it live in the community in a significant way…like I know Jussie, he is gay, and he’s very committed to issues around the LGBT community. He and I have a very close relationship. There a lot of things that I’m doing. I have a company called iconic32.com. We create or enhance cultural movements for social good using pop culture.
Kyle Norman, a member of the R&B group “Jagged Edge” was arrested early Thursday morning on aggravated assault charges. Police were called to a home on Peters Street in Atlanta about a domestic dispute between a couple.
The officers were met by the victim who said she had gotten into an argument with her fiance, Kyle Norman, about his drinking.
The victim reportedly had a golf ball sized knot on her forehead, had a cut to her nose and it looked as if her right eye had a busted blood clot.
The victim told police Norman punched and choked her with a scarf and shoved her engagement ring down her throat choking her more. According to police, Norman took away the victim’s car keys and broke her cell phone, refusing to let her leave. The victim told police she began to agree with things that he was saying in an attempt to calm him down. Once he walked away, she ran and grabbed his cell phone and was able to run outside and wake up a neighbor who let her inside. The unidentified woman was taken to Atlantic Medical Center and Norman was arrested and taken to jail.
Is Hollywood titan Denzel Washington about to join Fox’s Empire? If Lee Daniels has his way, it just may be a reality. Daniels snapped a picture of the Academy-Award winning actor and himself at dinner together last night and made the announcement to his followers on Instagram. The showrunner posted in the caption:
Trying to talk this one into doing a guest star on #empire #nextweekdinneronme
We could definitely see D playing a character that can check Lucious (Terrence Howard) and dazzle Cookie (Taraji P. Henson). Earlier this week, Daniels spoke with The Philadelphia Inquirer where he revealed he and Washington are currently discussing the potential joining the series. Daniels stated:
Denzel hasn’t done television in 30 years. But he saw the pilot and said, ‘I’ve got to be a part of this.’
If Washington did however appeared on Empire, he would be a part of a long line of A-listers guesting on the show, such as fellow Oscar winner, Cuba Gooding Jr, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg,Naomi Campbell, Raven Symone, Macy Gray, Courtney Love and Foxy Brown. Daniels also confirmed his fellow Philly native and legendary singer Patti LaBelle will board the show, after he posted a picture of the two on Instagram teasing: We fixin to turn up to watch #empire #fox #pattitakedownyourtree ❤️