"Bankrupt" occasional rapper and perennial schoolyard bully Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson recently took an opportunity to mock Empire's precipitous ratings drop and the show's "gay stuff."
Fiddy re-grammed, then quickly deleted, the following post from noted ratchet hot mess, the Industry on Blast's Instagram:
After weathering some flack for the post, Jackson went on to clarify that he's not a homophobe, he just hates Empire.
First of all, Industry on Blast needs to take a seat. Scrolling through their posts, I found numerous instances of casual homophobia just within the last few days--here, here and here--yet they're fine using gay vernacular in their tagline: "We serve tea & celebrity news @ the same damn time." You can't have it both ways, hunty. And that tea was weak 10 years ago when Perez Hilton was doing it.
Second, nothing 50 Cent says matters. This isn't 2004, and we're not all Ja Rule. He's simply trying to boost his own rival show, Power, on Starz. Thematically, the shows are similar--black folks balancing illegal activities with legitimate businesses--but Empire is a completely different show. It's an ostentatious and ambitious primetime soap opera in the grandiose tradition of Dallas and Dynasty. Power is a grittier, less splashy show that's doing great in the ratings.
Finally, Empire's ratings aren't falling because of "gay stuff." The last episode dropped 18% from its second season premiere, but that had to happen sometime. There was plenty of gay stuff in season one and, each episode, audiences grew--an unprecedented feat in modern television. The ratings grew because of word of mouth and because at the end of the day, Empire was appointment television--a lost artifact in this day of Hulu and DVR.
The ratings are slipping this season because the novelty has worn off. Like season one, this season is slowly building, but for now everything is all over the place. There are multiple plot balls in the air, a slew of guest stars and new characters and yet it all seems a bit familiar. That doesn't mean Empire is not good. It just means it's not as good.
Anyway, ratings are still high and Cookie has yet to be properly unleashed, so there's no need to dig Empire's grave yet. And there's no reason both Empire and Power can't peacefully coexist, especially when both shows have their own merits. Empire's got star power, great music and Lee Daniels's signature lack of fucks while Power has...well, something Empire just doesn't--
--namely Omari Hardwick's ass. How's that for some great gay stuff?