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FOX’s Empire has really taken off, just like Hip-Hop Wired knew it would. The show’s multi-million viewer engagement on the nationwide scale has fans blurring the lines being reality and art and has some people walking away from the TV screen fake mad.

The debut season’s most pot-stirring moment came on episode two, “The Outspoken King” where potential record label heir, Hakeem Lyon (played by Bryshere Y. Gray) spiraled into a drunken stupor where he called President Obama a sellout and topped it off with a shameless display of public urination. Obviously the sensationalism is fueling the winning numbers but social media was a buzzing following the scene calling for the show’s cancellation before it even got off the ground.

Taraji P. Henson, who shares the show’s top-billing with Terrence Howard as the feisty Cookie Lyon spoke to Uptown magazine about the scene and unsurprisingly, she’s not offering up any apologies or rebuttals.

“I’m just proud that people are talking. Everybody don’t like Barack Obama,” she stated. “People are out there saying that. That’s what art is supposed to do: expose this shit. You know, we’re dealing with subject matter that’s not really dealt with. Art is supposed to challenge, start a conversation, so let’s lift the carpet up and deal with this dirt. It’s not like we bashed Barack Obama and the show went off. No, Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) jumped in his [son’s] ass. That’s real life stuff. So I’m glad you’re mad. Do something about it. Go in the hood and talk to the kids so they don’t do dumb stuff like that.”

There you have it, straight with no chaser. Empire airs later tonight on FOX at 8pm/7C. Tune in and check out the full Uptown interview and all the luscious Taraji P. Henson photos.

Photo: FOX

H/T: Black Voices