The series, which stars Queen Latifah, Benjamin Bratt, Lenny Kravitz and newcomers Jude Demorest, Brittany O’Grady, and Ryan Destiny, follows the evolution of an Atlanta-based girl group ― comprised of three singers from diverse backgrounds ― as they encounter various obstacles in their pursuit of music stardom.
Like his previous projects, the “Empire” creator says it was important to incorporate some of the social issues ― such as racial inequality and criminal injustice ― affecting America today into the show.
“This was before our president-elect was in. I felt that we were are at civil war. Black boys were being shot, and I didn’t understand,” he said. “So I wanted to explore politics, as I do with most of my work, what’s going on right now in America. So we explore the excitement and the glamor of the evolution of a group weaved in with a little bit of what’s happening now in the streets.”
Daniels added that he didn’t let racism play a role in his career and make him into an “angry black man.”
“I wouldn’t be where I was if I embraced racism. If I embraced it, then it became real. And if it became real, I would be an angry black man,” he said.
FOX’s “Star” premieres on Dec. 14 at 9pm. Check out more of Lee Daniels’ interview segment in the clips above.