Since its debut on Fox last year, "Empire" has shown dexterity in its portrayal of LGBT issues -- showcasing both same-sex relationships and how homophobia can strain a family dynamic.
Jussie Smollett's character Jamal Lyon finds himself tangled in both storylines as he grapples with his sexuality. After he and his boyfriend Michael called it quits, sparks fly between the character and singer Skye Summers -- prompting his father Lucious to proudly suggest the fling had "fixed" his son.
In a conversation with HuffPost Live, Smollett looked back on the scene and lamented the twisted way Lucious, played by Terrence Howard, saw the relationship.
"Wasn't that horrible when he said, she 'fixed you'? Wasn't that horrible? [He said it] in such a sincere, genuine, proud way -- the type of way you want your father to look at you, but for the wrong reasons," Smollett told host Alex Miranda.
While he expects it will be a while before the head of the Lyon clan grows out of his "ignorance" and "fear" he portrays on the show, Smollett said Lucious' understanding of LGBT issues will "absolutely" progress throughout the rest of the season.
"It's going to be a … journey. We'll see where the writers take it, but for now, he is trying and he's trying to get past that," he said. "And every once in awhile there [are] these things that just seep back into his old ways, because that's just truly what he believes. But it's a journey. All these characters are onions with many, many layers."
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Jussie Smollett here.