'Empire' Drew On Lee Daniels' Personal Experience With Homophobia, Danny Strong Notes

"Empire" co-creator Danny Strong spoke at length about his smash new series in an interview with HuffPost Live this week.

During the chat, Strong recalled how he drew from the personal experience his creative partner Lee Daniels had with homophobia in developing memorable scenes for the show's gay subplot.

"He came down when he was 8 years old in high heels and a scarf to a dinner party, and his father grabbed him and threw him in the trash can, and said, 'You're garbage,'" Strong said. The scene, he added, has become "symbolic for homophobia...and how brutal it can be, and how ingrained and passionate feelings can be, really."

Interestingly, Daniels told Strong that there were no hard feelings between him and his father.

"When he told me this story -- it was very beautiful -- he said, 'I don't even hate him for it,'" Strong explained. "He was just scared. He was just scared I was gonna end up gay."

As a whole, "Empire" is "tackling homophobia very head on, in a very brutal and honest way," he concluded.

Earlier this year, "Empire" star Naomi Campbell praised the show's handling of gay issues.

"I think it's a great storyline and it's a great dynamic," she told HuffPost Live in a conversation. "I think it's so brilliant and I think a lot of people just love that storyline."



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