Lifestyles Report…Boycott ‘Empire’?


Why are people talking about boycotting “Empire”? Are you kidding me?
The show is great; there’s suspense drama, music, good-looking people and great guest stars. For what reason would someone boycott “Empire,” other than because there is a gay male as a character? Or maybe because the one son said un-kind remarks about President Obama. Well if we boycotted everyone who did that we wouldn’t be able to do anything else. Or maybe because there is an overweight Black woman with a blonde weave.
It reminds me of way back in the day when Blacks who were Negro and colored wanted to boycott the television show “Amos and Andy,” because it showed the “Negro” in a bad light.
That was one of my favorite shows. I would run home from Lemington School to see “Amos and Andy” reruns. Amos was the cab driver and had a beautiful family, Andy Brown was good friend to Kingfish and they were a part of the Mystic Knights of the Sea. Their apartments were nicely decorated and they always wore suits and ties. It was a comedy, a satire. It was not Sounder or the Learning Tree.
So it was boycotted and taken off the air just to make a point.  I am so glad that I have more than a half dozen episodes in my collection. If we are going to boycott “Empire” why don’t we boycott something to bring “The Cosby Show” back on television, I think that is what really needs to happen.
Boyce D. Watkins, PhD, an American author, economist, political analyst and social commentator says in a printed commentary, “When the Fox Network released the new show, ‘Empire,’ I was concerned about what I might see on screen. Fox is not known for producing the most favorable images of Black people, so I figured this show wouldn’t be any different.  For some reason, Black dysfunctionality makes for great television, and there is a long line of White guys getting rich off of our willingness to celebrate all that makes us miserable.”
If you do some research, you might notice some of the same things I’ve seen in this ghetto-fied hood drama: Pimps, hoes, thugs, gangsters, emasculated Black men, and all kinds of other kinds of stereotypical coonery that many of us have grown tired of seeing portrayed on-screen.  Lee Daniels is apparently the man responsible for this televised monstrosity, and I wonder if a day will ever come that the majority of us will refuse to support directors who pimp their people to help bigots like Rupert Murdoch get rich from modern day minstrel shows.”
I don’t want to read all of that into a show when I’m watching it. I want to be entertained and I like it when the cast includes people of color. Couldn’t we say the same about Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and Have Not’s”? How about “Scandal”? Here is a woman having an affair with a married man. Every show with Black characters cannot be a reincarnation of “The Cosby Show”; whoops I forgot people wanted to boycott that as well.
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