Ilene Chaiken, Empire

February 25, 2015 2:20 PM

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Ilene Chaiken, Empire

Since Empire premiered Jan. 7, its ratings have increased each week. Last week over 12 million viewers tuned into the FOX drama centering around a hip-hop entertainment company. One of the most beloved stories centers around Jamal (Jussie Smollett), a young African-American musician who struggles to live as an openly gay man due to pressures from his family.

Co-creator Lee Daniels, who also directed The Butler, has said from the beginning that one of his intentions for the show is to "blow the lid off homophobia" in the African-American community. Daniels has even incorporated his own experiences into Jamal's story. During last week's episode viewers' h...

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