‘Empire’ Snubbed by Emmy Awards, Co-Creator Lee Daniels Reacts With F-Bomb

Empire Emmy Snub
Courtesy of Fox

Fox’s smash hip-hop drama “Empire” may have scored with fans, but it didn’t hit any high notes with Emmy voters.

The hit show scored only three Emmy nods, for series star Taraji P. Henson as best actress, and two in the costume categories.

Series co-creator Lee Daniels didn’t take kindly to the snub, to say the least, posting a video on Instagram in which he drops a massive f-bomb on the TV Academy.

“F— these motherf—ers,” he says, despite “Empire” star Jussie Smollett pleas for him to be “nice.” “#canfinallypostthis #timetoberealagain #emmyniceguyoverwith,” he captioned the video, which he also tweeted.

The show had been considered a contender in the best drama race, as well as for lead actor Terrence Howard. Fox had campaigned heavily for the series.

“Empire” was the highest-rated new series to come along in more than a decade, growing its audience with each week. Its March 18 finale drew 17.6 million same-night viewers and more than 20 million within just three days of DVR playback.

The 67th Primetime Emmy Awards air September 20 on Fox.

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  1. webreader says:

    Does this mean he will “Black-ball” the industry too? #treatmeright

  2. Donna Briggs says:

    The Emmys awards show and most others are extremely political there is a board that nominates and awards Emmys if you are not part of the in crowd .. The powers that be ..you will not ever win an Emmy or any other award it’s not based on how popular a show is it’s based on who you know on the board… As the saying goes it’s not what you know but who you know

  3. Tammy says:

    I am pissed that Taraji did not win nor did Terrence or others in the cast. There is more to TV than safe white bread American boring TV. Snore to all that won Viola and Uzo thank you for your win as well. But I am a huge Empire fan. Mr Daniels you have been robbed as well. Oh yeah the guy who hosted????NOT FUNNY AT ALL WHAA WAAA WAAAA

  4. Daniels is still under the misconception that he’s viewed as an equal in Hollywood, and that he would be awarded based on the quality of his work. Hilarious.

  5. Elaine says:

    Empire’s series is the best full production with a fine cast of professional actors I have watched. It is connected to the people and has set the standard high. Shows are trying to mimic its staging, music, dance and plethora of subject matter in the entertainment field. Empire is like a 5 star hotel. The best service memorial service in a class that is a new breakthrough.

  6. Maya says:

    I loved watching Empire and they film right in my city. It was the most exciting show last season. I am especially excited that it features a mostly Black cast with my favorite guy terrence howard. I also like new comer jussie smollett and how he is an empowered gay person. However, even with all that being said, THE WRITING IS NOT on par with many of the shows like Modern family and Game of thrones. The latter which i love. In fact, one of the producers claimed it would be more like GOT this fall whatever that means. I liked some of lee daniels work like Monsters Ball. The Butler, not so much. What was the point of that movie again?? ANYWAY, daniels is starting to sound like he is getting too big for his bridges snd they are (cast) acting like the popularity of the showe is going to their heads. Including, the drippity drop rapper on the show. I hope daniels a nd cast c a n bring it this fall and display better writing since he feels entitled to more award recognition for the show.

  7. Beth C. Pfohl says:

    All I know is, for the entire season, i sat enthralled watching many drop-my-jaw-on-the-floor performances that played out a lot of emotional beats, both individually and collectively. And this within a (granted), sometimes unbelievable series of story twists that nonetheless kept the throughlines moving and led up to a concluding finale that made both sense and had me looking forward to the coming year of new episodes. That Taraji P. Henson is the only one to be nominated (and deservedly so), makes me wonder did the Emmy voters actually watch the submitted reels? It truly surprises me that actors such as Trey Byers, Jussie Smollett and Terrence Howard, who all demonstrate both quality and charisma in their work, are passed over. True, acting in general is very subjective, and not everyone has the same tastes and criteria when judging what is good, bad or mediocre. Still, there seems to be almost a “reverse backlash” against this show, one that appealed to a wide audience. And that makes me a bit sad.

  8. blklips4lp says:

    Not to belittle the dialogue in any way or diminish any one’s feelings, but can we take five minutes to celebrate the nomination of two strong female leads in shows that we love?

  9. I have not watched this show but my friend says it reminds her of the shows from the late 70’s and 80’s like “Dynasty”, which also NEVER won Emmy’s for anything other than costuming or musical score. Same thing with another fan favorite which was “Dallas”, which took YEARS before they received ANY acting nominations OR wins. They won mostly for musical scores and costuming. So please don’t make this about race. This is more about a night time serial/soap opera, just like those that were snubbed before them. Plain and simple. It does NOT take away from the show at all.

  10. Alecia says:

    Empire is a stereotype on film. It is skanky, ghetto, and embarrassing. It did not reach the standards of an emmy nomination.

    PS. Don’t say I am racist because I am black as night

  11. gottabril says:

    I’m black and damn near a republican I never use the race card loosely however there’s no other reason that the #1 show on TV in 2015 has been snubbed not the #1 black show the #1 hottest show on TV period no other reason but race….

  12. JC says:

    You see this year after year across the board. If it’s not the Emmy’s, it’s the Grammy’s, and the Oscars to name a few. I say do it because you love to do it. Forget about the awards. I would even refuse to go to the award shows in any capacity.

  13. dollarocracy says:

    OUTRAGEOUS! This series is the epitome of Cool&Class! Actors are first rate &story line more believable than 99% of shows on TV! Question: Do you only let RACIST vote for Emmies?? Sure Seems It!!

  14. Joe T. says:

    Sounds very Kanye-esque. I would counter his argument with the Walking Dead.

  15. truth says:

    Racism, right?

  16. Nanny Mo says:

    I think this kind of news story is inflammatory. Empire could win them all next year but this year the shows that are winning deserve it. Why have we allowed the fact that some minorities and some women didn’t get an award on one particular year, demean the talent that did? It’s just wrong. (It makes me want to see shows like Empire fail just because people are so petty.) It’s sick and Variety should be ashamed of these types of stories.

  17. Annie says:

    I think the snub is disappointing because it indicates that voters only see Empire as being Cookie saying quick one liners, and they don’t see the humanity or diversity of that character. Cookie, unlike most black female characters and most black women in America, is allowed to be human, and to show that she is both strong and vulnerable. Voters are quick to recognize black actors in comedies, but roles like Lucious, Cookie and Andre have been off limits to black actors. Viewers matter more than awards, but it is still sad that the show was not recognized.

  18. Who watches this crap? Do not answer, this is the United States….I know….

    • bill says:

      Have you seen what people watch in other countries? Take a look at game shows and reality shows in Japan, China, France, etc. They are full of crazy things that we don’t even allow here. If you live in the US and like to bitch about what the US does, then by all means leave the country. Nobody will miss you.

  19. Ted Trent says:

    I love the show, but it occurs like a soap opera to me. It doesn’t really represent any real life drama. Again, I LOVE the show and watch EVERY EPISODE, but its just not a great capture of real life. I don’t know if that is how they choose an Emmy, but I love to relate to a story beyond the fireworks of storytelling.

  20. Goodbyenoway says:

    Because the show is fun trash, but it’s not art. Its fans don’t get that. Trash shouldn’t win awards just be entertaining.

    • Annie says:

      This makes no sense, and is incredibly subjective. Who decides what is art and what is trash. I think that the words that you have chosen say a lot about you, but little about the show.

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