Support Shawn's writng with a donation

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Empire-The New Minstrel Show on FOX

Last year ABC started the Minstrel craze on television with the launch of its hit show Scandal. And after seeing Disney have success with an entire block of Minstrel shows degrading the image of Black people on Thursday with TGIT and Wednesday’s night’s Black-ish, FOX has decided to jump on the bandwagon with it’s own Minstrel show called Empire. At the rate the sellouts in Black Hollywood are going to prove their loyalty to Massa, I expect to see some washed-up sold out Negro actors like Taye Diggs Halle Berry or Wesley Snipes put on  some Blackface and start singing mammy when NBC and CBS, and the CW join the fray and put on their new Minstrel shows.

Empire does its best to out-coon all the coons currently buckdancing and bojangling, on ABC. Produced by Lee Daniels the ringmaster of Minstrel shows such as Precious, Monster’s Ball, and the Butler, Empire follows a bunch of shines in the music business not unlike the coons on the short-lived UPN series Platinum. However, with a family as dysfunctional as this it’s a miracle these people could make a family picnic work let alone a record company.

The Patriarch portrayed by Terrence Howard is supposed to be from the streets. But this dude is so moist and sugary Betty Crocker cakes get jealous. Supposedly we’re supposed to believe that this effeminate lame is supposed to be some hard-core dope dealer at one time but I doubt it. With perm in his hair and an affinity for the soft clothes I just know dude is in the closet.

Supposedly 17 years ago in the 1990’s he had his wife played by Taraji P. Henson take the fall for him on some dope rap and now she’s out fresh out of jail and ready to take her portion of his company. Personally I think we better check her Adam’s apple. Taraji’s character dresses and acts like a drag queen and acts so masculine I think she swings a dick better than Terrence Howard’s character. I’m thinking she’s the dom in the relationship and he’s the fem.

The Empire is supposed the Rap Empire Terrence Howard’s character built up while his woman took the rap for him in prison for the dope they both slung. He’s supposed to have built up his incredible music business while being a single dad. Now you’d think a single father would raise strong Alpha males ready to helm their father’s business. But Empire is a show produced by Lee Daniels, not Shawn James. So Mr. Effeminate’s sons are guaranteed to be the biggest pair of the most FUBAR males to ever grace a television screen.

The first of the two princes in the Empire is an openly homosexual artsy type dating a Hispanic Man. When mama gets out of jail she goes to their house, and pretty much justifies their homosexual relationship so she can have a place to stay. Then she eats herself some chicken. Because Black folks love themselves some fried chicken.

The second is a clean-cut self-hating Uncle Tom married to a White Woman. He’s supposed to be a little more refined, with more of business acumen. But dude oozes the same self-hatred as every other member of this dysfunctional family.

Now Terrence Howard has ALS and is dying. And he’s supposed to choose between which one of these two lames will be running his empire before he passes. I really wish I could root for the Empire in a galaxy far, far away. I’d love for Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin strike back at Hollywood with the Death Star so they’d stop producing hot garbage like this.

Other minstrels in this freakshow include Lee Daniels Alumnus Gabourney Sidbe and Malik Yoba. Poor Malik Yoba…I think he’s just here for the paycheck. Oh Malik, how far you have fallen since New York Undercover! Damn, brotha, you can’t need the money THAT BAD! Tyler Perry was breaking you off with a slice for a minute! Where the money go!

In Empire there are secrets, secrets and more secrets. Deceit. Lies. And more lies. Stud Mom gets her cut of the company and wants to push a homosexual rapper. And at the end of episode one, Dad winds up murdering one of his hangers on who just decides to blackmail him because he ran himself into debt. And homosexuality is pushed to the forefront. Why? Cause it’s Lee Daniels show of course. And Lee Daniels is all about pushing the Gay agenda down the Black community’s throat.

Because Gay means ratings. And big ratings mean big money for Lee Daniels. Fuck promoting more important shit to Black people on a TV show like oh, Group Economics, a model of an INTACT FUNCTIONAL Black family or Black pride and Black self-Awareness. That doesn’t profit the White Supremacists at FOX. But promoting the feminization of Black men on Empire means Lee Daniels gets to sleep on a bed of Rupert Murdoch’s dollars at the expense of the Black community’s dignity.

Empire comes across like a circus. And most of the characters act like oddities in a freakshow. Every character comes across as some strange, bizarre creature instead of a human being. And we feel like we’re watching the strange oddities in a circus tent, not people trying to build and maintain a business. Every behavior on display is just odd and somewhat…disturbing. Instead of us viewing a drama about a music business it’s like being a voyeur into the window of an odd and perverse place where you wait to see whatever deviant behaviors the characters will participate in.  

If Empire reflects what the Rap and Hip-hop part of the music business has become then…Good Gravy. The Rap game is truly FUCKED UP. Damn, this is NOT what good men like DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Afrika Bambataa envisioned when they started Rap way back on Creston Avenue in the late 1970s. In their rhymes they talked about Black self-Awareness, Black empowerment, Group Economics, and Knowledge of Self.

How did we get from consciousness raising songs like The Message to this hot garbage? All I can say is Rap took a wrong turn Straight outta Compton with those NWA coons hit the scene back in 1989. From there it’s been a slippery slope to Empire which is probably …what rap probably is like on the seventh level of Hell. From what I saw in the first episode of Empire the show seems to have a satanic vibe to it. All the perversion, deviancy, debauchery, deception and deceit, on display just disgusted me.

Empire is Lee Daniels ultimate PIMP SLAP to Black folks, one with a pinky ring, powder and a white glove. This Sellout openly insults Black people by comparing them to oddities in a freakshow and creatures on display under a circus tent. Unfortunately, because most of the Negro masses lack critical thinking skills they think this affront on film is actually entertainment worth watching. Sadly, Like Scandal, and No Good Deed before it Empire is a SMASH hit with the Negro masses. The number one show of the 2014-2015 season.


As I sit in my South Bronx apartment I just shake my head. I have two seasons of All About Nikki, a Black sitcom with some of the most humanized images of Black people on it ready to go. And If I did a Kickstarter for it, I bet I wouldn’t raise $5 for it from the so-called Black community. Why? Because this generation of Negroes are so brainwashed to hate themselves by sociopaths like Lee Daniels they think being a minstrel is just what a normal Black person is supposed to be.

Damn. Just Damn.

 When Amos N’ Andy and the Bula show hit the air in the 1950s Black folks wrote letters. They told the networks they’d refuse to watch the show or buy any of the sponsored products that were featured in those shows.

And in an instant they were GONE.  

And when Angel Heart came out in 1986, Black folks came out and protested. And thanks to their protests the movie BOMBED at the box office.

But today Negroes all over the United States have made Empire, a TV show that features some of the WORST stereotypes about Black people and presents Black people like oddities in a freakshow the #1 TV show for the season. Just when I thought the Black race had fallen as far as it possibly could, most of these Negroes start breaking out the shovels and digging that much deeper on their race to the bottom.

Good Gravy.

I just don’t get it. The Negro’s fascination with watching the most degrading, destructive images depicting them. Images again, that their grandmothers and some of their mothers would have picketed and protested against, this generation supports and embraces with open arms.

And while this freakshow plays in households across the country we’ve yet to hear from Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, the NAACP the Black fraternities and sororities or any of those Pro-Black Back to Africa AFROSIMPTRICK Negroes so concerned about the state of the Black community. Hell, we haven’t even heard from most of the Pro-Black contingent on YouTube that are so critical of issues in the Black community. All are silent as rats pissin’ on cotton.

I watched one episode of Empire and have NOT LOOKED BACK. And I will NEVER watch this show again. Right after I watched the pilot episode of this HOT MESS, I made one of the FEW videos speaking out against this Minstrel show and posted it on YouTube. Again, I see this show as an affront to Black people and the Black community. The kind of show any SANE Black person would be protesting. But the state of Black America is the most FUBAR that I’ve seen it in the 41 years I’ve been living in it. After Empire’s success I’m just wondering where the bottom is. I’m just wondering when Black people will just WAKE UP.

*Okay, enough ranting about the dysfunction in the Negro community. I’ll be going back to comic/fantasy related blogs in a minute.


  1. Oh STFU.

    Crabs in a barrel. Crabs in the motherfcuking BARREL.

    Go write your own fcuking show if you feel everything is a minstrel show. Dude. You are one of the worst kinds of Black people out here. Black characters haven't been more complex and layered---yet Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, and Empire are all trash and minstrel shows to you. YOU need to wake up.

    Y'all don't know what the Black community is and what it wants. All you do is bitch, moan and groan about how every single thing is a stereotype and a bad representation of the Black community. Are we all walking around out here like are White counterparts? Proper, primp, sophisticated, and educated? Or do we actually run a GAMUT like the rest of the world? The Hip Hop community is ours. That's the arena Empire takes place in. There are countless women who have sacrificed themselves for a man and went to jail on his behalf. There are countless Black couples dealing drugs whether to earn a living, to get out of the hood, or whatever the case may be. There are families dealing with mental illness, with homophobia, and with a loud mouth baby brother. WHAT exactly are you bitching about here?

    Same with Scandal. There are woman who OWN being the side chick. I don't approve it, but that isn't my place to judge. I enjoy it. Its a different kind of Black woman that I'm not familiar with but the character is interesting----same with Annalise Keating.

    For fcuks sake-----PLEASE STOP BITCHING ABOUT BAD REPRESENTATIONS OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY. STEREOTYPES exist because there is something TRUTHFUL about them. WHAT on earth are you exactly wanting to see?! There are so many Black shows and characters on TV right now and in-development, yet a handful of you idiots still prance about, ranting and raving like some mongooses out the jungle talking about they aren't representing us right. What the HELL does that even mean?!

    I swear to goodness----you ought to take a lesson from Shonda, Lee, and Perry because at least THEY have some credibility behind their words. They HAVE movies, books, TV shows, screenplays, etc. They HAVE the backing of millions of dollars and fans who love their work. I don't like everything Tyler Perry puts out, but I cannot take away from him what he's given to a demographic of our people. Some of us don't mind that kind of comedy. The man is a millionaire, and despite all your bitching he's STILL making movies and TV shows.

    You people have to tear down to build up. I swear. I don't watch Love & Hip Hop because it doesn't entertain me. And that's IT. I don't sit around on Twitter, Facebook, or blogs whining over how it's destroying the Black community. SOME of our women REALLY DO live that life.

    Again, we run a GAMUT like EVERY other race out there. STOP trying to pigeonhole the ENTIRE community to some ill-fitting shoe that'll rectify all stereotypes. And MOST importantly, STOP tasking Shonda, Lee, and Perry with the responsibility that they are SUPPOSED to address every single freaking issue in the community and represent every single person.

    I'm done. This was my last time coming to your blog. I've always found you insightful but lately you've been toxic. Take all that negative energy and turn it into something that'll help you get to where you want to go with your books. I haven't purchased anything of yours because you seem to have to tear others down to make your stuff better.

    I'm done man.

    Best of luck to whatever.

    1. If you don't like what he is saying-don't read his blog. Everybody wants to toss out the "why don you do your own stuff" line. Guess what the man is writing books-so he IS doing something.

      It's not that guys like Shawn are not trying, it's their path is HARDER because they choose to not follow the trend that Tyler and others have chosen.

      If there was balance in what is shown of us-no one would call out Lee and the others. No other race gets showcased this badly. The version of Empire Shawn is talking about will never get aired on Fox because it doesn't pander to stereotypes that help get our people killed, jailed or kept out of jobs.

      And FYI-Empire was suppose to be a MOVIE developed by 2 WHITE guys. Who went to Daniels and the rest is history.

    2. 1) All of those "successful" people that you mentioned are, at least after they actually made it in show business, Boule, boot-licking negroes who are PAID to produce this shit.

      2) If you actually take the time to look around at Shawn James' blog, you would realize that he has produced plenty of literature himself.

      3) The fact that you are more angry at him than the people who perpetuate the negative stereotypes is disturbing.

      4) Due to the fact that we have been so desensitized to our own suffering (and because we've been supporting an inappropriate matriarchy for the last half-century), we don't know the necessity of having boundaries, which is the very thing that is necessary. People get more mad at you when you refuse to partake in the chaos of this society than when you act crazy along with them.
      Boundaries and cultural privacy are two things that are necessary for us to reclaim our sanity.

  2. I've seen a couple of episodes, and I thoroughly agree with Mr. James' assessment. The show triumphs every negative side about us (same with How To Get Away With Murder & Scandal) . For those who can't separate themselves from the TV-universe & real life (i.e most black people) it's TOXIC. Fuck, the Banks family (Fresh Prince) was a whole lot better than this. It's a shame that black people won't come together to produce QUALITY entertainment about themselves, FOR themselves.

  3. Yo. Shawn. Need you to finish writing those books on simpin'. I'm tryin' to learn more of what not to do.

  4. Gonna try to address all the comments at once.

    An announcement on Stop Simpin Second Editon will be up soon. Currently writing the book and planning to have it out by June-July.

    Now on to the emotional responser who cannot use logic and reason:

    You make an ad-hominem attack saying I am a crab in a barrel. Now how can I be a crab in a barrel taking down when Lee Daniels is a crab looking to take the entire Black race down into the sewer.

    I have already created my own TV scripts and movies. The books are on Amazon:
    All About Marilyn:

    All About Nikki Season one:

    And Spray Em' Up

    As the other posters have said, I do offer alternatives to the minstrel shows out there. Now while you don't like the content on my blog well, that's not my problem. Don't let the red X hit you in the ass .

    I have been calling out coons, minstrels and since the inception of this blog. Have you not read my CLASSIC on Montana Fishburne in 2010? Or my Classic about Street lit overtaking the Black side of the bookstore WAY back in 2007? Or my classics on Halle Berry, Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry or other assorted Negro Shines over the years?

    I have been writing about these Entertainment hustlers who exploit the Black community promoting stereotypes that SLAP Black people in the face all while they take their money. The very producers who have been Laughing with the very White Supremacists who are laughing AT Black people.

    Empire is one of the most disturbing and screwed up shows on TV. It is a modern day minstrel show just like Black-ish, Scandal, and How to get Away with Murder. We don't need sterotypes like this perpetuating the image of Black people. Especially when there are no images to counter them and provide BALANCE to Black people so they can have an objective picture of what Black people truly are.

  5. Especially when there are no images to counter them and provide BALANCE to Black people so they can have an objective picture of what Black people truly are.

    And what is that? The Cosby Show??

  6. I suppose that since Hollywood can't get anymore humiliation and jokes out of whites they have to move onto other races: today Blacks, tomorrow Europeans!