Empire cast
The Hollywood Reporter

The Empire cast is gracing the cover of next week’s Hollywood Reporter, and millions of eyes will be tuned in next week when the show returns to Fox for its second season. Last week Terrence Howard made eyes roll when he divulged details about his past, which included his history of violence against women as well as having had a troubled childhood. 

The news didn’t shock many people, and Howard seems to have fans of Empire divided as to why a show with an admitted abuser is one of their faves. In the Hollywood Reporter, Empire co-creator Lee Daniels had a few comments to share about Howard’s past. And he is seemingly OK with it.

“That poor boy. [Terrence] ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f—kin’ demon,” Daniels said. “That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”

Maybe Daniels doesn’t realize that it’s not “all of a sudden” that people have been giving Howard side eyes. Most were already aware of his domestic-abuse issues, and that is pretty much one of the reasons not everyone is a Howard fan. Well, besides the fact that he has this obsession with baby wipes.

In any case, the Hollywood Reporter also reports that Howard’s role will not be scaled back as rumors last month indicated. But Howard has been avoiding the press like the plague since his Rolling Stone interview, and co-stars of Empire have been advised not to discuss Howard’s real-life drama, but it seems as though he has done a good job of doing that already.

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Empire returns to Fox Sept. 23.