Lee Daniels Empire Snub Video

Empire's Lee Daniels Reacts to Emmy Snub, Drops F-Bombs on Instagram

Hold onto your basketballs, because Empire co-creator Lee Daniels is going all Andre-off-his-meds on the Television Academy.

Appearing opposite star Jussie Smollett in an Instagram video Thursday, Daniels addressed the fact that Empire wasn’t nominated for an Outstanding Drama Emmy, using the hashtags #canfinallypostthis #timetoberealagain and #emmyniceguyoverwith.

“Jussie’s saying I have to be politically correct on Instagram,” Daniels began, before dropping a few bombs on unsuspecting viewers: “F–k these motherf–kers!”

Daniels’ smile, coupled with Smollett’s stifled laughter, suggests they were merely having some fun after an eventful morning. But even if Daniels is serious, can you really blame him? Despite Empire‘s critical success, the Fox drama received only one Emmy nomination: Best Actress in a Drama for Taraji P. Henson.

Watch Daniels’ Instagram video below, then drop a comment: Do you think Empire deserved an Outstanding Drama nomination?


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Alec says:

    Empire is great guilty pleasure but it’s not close to some of the other dramas like The Americans or Justified.
    He needs to get over his ego which will be Empire’s downfall. All of the stunt casting will backfire IMO.

    • Still better than Homeland this season, and that go the nod.

      • ABG. says:

        Let’s agree to disagree. Homeland S4 was pretty good. Empire is fun, but I think Taraji is the only one who deserves an award.

        • Just tired says:

          Season 4 of Homeland was boss….

          • IMHO says:

            Season 3 of Homeland was horrible BUT they made some changes for Season 4 and it was great.
            As far as Empire goes Mr.Daniels needs to get a grip .
            Nobody has heard Shoda Rhimes losing her sh*t if one of her shows didn’t get nominated.
            Empire a good show but the competition in the Best Drama Category is serious. I don’t think Empire qualifies just yet.
            If Justified and The Americans didn’t make the cut Empire shouldn’t

      • Stephen S. says:

        No it’s not. Homeland is definitely better. Season 4 was awesome.

    • liame says:

      15 million plus viewers on a major network, he deserves his ego. Too bad these award shows still have those uppity entitled old farts around who can pass their seats on to the next uppity generation. The Americans and Justified attract a different crowd, what would you expect someone to say about those shows.

    • Annie says:

      It’s subjective, but as the creator, Daniels should be proud of his show, and feel that it deserved to get an Emmy. Everyone wants to get recognition, especially from their peers. For now, Daniels will have to settle for the recognition that Empire received from viewers.

    • joel f says:

      I agree Lee needs to get over himself.

  2. Jake says:

    Yeah I like Empire but it can never compete with other shows. It’s a travesty that an amazing show like The Americans is snubbed again, now that’s something to be pissed about, but the Empire not being nominated is not a big deal.

  3. Rachel says:

    Of course not! Empire got the only nomination it deserved. Taraji P. Henson is fantastic, but the show is garbage and grossly over-rated. The Emmys got it right in that regard.

  4. Ron says:

    I absolutely love Empire. And Taraji more than deserved that nomination. However, I’m not even kind of upset that the show wasn’t nominated for Best Drama. Like I said, I absolute love the show, but there’s something about this first season that didn’t really make it Emmy worthy to me. I think it was a bit too soapy, in my opinion, to be nominated for best drama. Or maybe it was a little too over the top with not enough subtlety. (It’s one of the reasons I don’t think Downton Abbey should’ve been nominated.) It’s also why I don’t think HTGAWM was nominated for best drama. Another show I love, but not really best drama worthy. I think the reason Taraji and Viola were rightfully nominated is because their acting is superior enough (especially Viola’s) to transcend the often melodramatic, soapy writing of their shows. And, slight digression, I love that both Taraji and Viola were nominated, but I’ve been pulling for a Viola win since the first moment I saw her on my TV screen in HTGAWM, and that feeling hasn’t changed. Viola for the win (in an extremely talented, crowded, worthy category)!

    • Ron says:

      Oh gosh, I just remembered Tatiana (yaaasssss!) is also nominated in this category with Viola and Taraji. As is Robin Wright who, in my opinion, was the only good thing about HoC this season and solely held season 3 together. Holy crap, this category is stacked….as usual. Four way tie? Maybe 5 way tie, and throw Moss into the mix for Mad Men’s final season? Too many amazing performances. (I’m totally over Claire Danes and Homeland.)

    • Ugonna Wosu says:

      Tatiana is the clear , most deserving one, no offence to the other good actresses.

    • Spence says:

      Preach it Ron! Completely agree, there’s a huge difference between popular, enjoyable drama and Emmy-worthy drama, and both can have Emmy-deserving actors!

    • Annie says:

      Empire is a soap, so how can it be too soapy? It’s always weird when people use that word to slam the show, since like Desperate Housewives, the show is a soap. Desperate Housewives received many Emmy nominations during its run.

  5. Guy says:

    I’m only surprised because it’s such a huge show, but is anyone that hurt? Empire is fun to watch, but it’s an absolutely terribly written show. People’s motivations make no sense, twists and turns happen for no reason but to shock you, and it’s all around ridiculous. It’s Gossip Girl season 5 in enjoyable, heightened, delirious fashion. But. The only thing with merit on the show is Taraji P. Henson’s performance, for which she was rightfully nominated.

  6. e says:

    The reason people watch the show is because of taraji. Hints the best actress in a drama nomination. So stop it Lee please.

  7. Bartimeus says:

    I adore Empire for the soapy fun it is but it does not deserve an Emmy.

  8. Sara says:

    There were far more worthy potential Best Drama nominees that were snubbed. For example, Justified, The Americans, and Sons of Anarchy, all of which deserved if not Best Drama at least some acting nominations.

  9. Crys says:

    First of all Lee, recognize what the fans have been saying. Empire is awesome BECAUSE of Taraji. Did you not notice how the commentors on MANY blogs were upset when the fans heard Taraji didn’t get the raise she (and we) thought she deserved???!!??? I’m pretty sure more people would be upset if Taraji didn’t get the nomination.

  10. Lululime says:

    The Walking Dead is just as successful if not more so are they complaining about it publicly?

    • The success comparison is in a bit of a gray area since Empire’s total numbers were higher (not by much, and both numbers were still insanely high). As for complaining about it publicly there have been some remarks in the past about the show not getting the nod, especially early on when the show was at its tightest focus-wise.

      In either case the Emmy awards tend to be the most stagnant voters ever, usually making predictable nominations even when the thing they nominate hasn’t been at its best. Lord knows Mad Men, Modern Family and Veep have managed to snag wins after weaker seasons, especially with so much quality television out there. It’s quite stunning how little Big Bang Theory love there is this year, but Homeland and Mom both got some questionable nods because the Emmys love Claire Danes and Allison Janey. Can’t blame them, sure, but really didn’t seem like their year this time around.

      • mollytanner says:

        I think success in terms of long term success, at least for The Walking Dead it has been growing and smashing for 5 years. Empire has had an insanely historic run, let’s see if it could keep doing it for 3 or 4 more years.

    • Win says:

      No, but Sons of Anarchy’s Kurt Sutter is usually lauded in these parts for being outspoken (about his show as well as other shows and people). I actually appreciate his candor, even when I disagree with his stance. That being said, I’d like to see if Empire holds its critical acclaim and/or viewership numbers (of which it currently has both) as well as consider the storytelling in the next season before I say whether or not Lee Daniels had a point here.

      Many actors and showrunners get upset (publicly offering it out there – like this case, or as a result of being asked in interviews, occasionally followed by it being turned into a story) when their shows aren’t chosen for certain honors. It’s considered “classier” when its the latter and “edgier/annoying/egotistical” when it’s the former. I generally like more humility, but I also like that people aren’t always afraid to say how they feel in public. One of my favorite lines from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was about Matt Lauer being “amazed by the things women will do in order to avoid being rude.”

      I know when I create something and hear great feedback (not that I need that to know something holds worth/quality, but perspective is important, too), I might speak to my disappointment (though likely with a confidante, as that is my way).

  11. vikki says:

    No way that Empire wasn’t nominated. Backroom politics, glad – handing and racism pure and simple. A repeat of the snub at the Oscars for 12 Years A Slave!

  12. Lizo says:

    A nomination for a first season would be crippling, at least I think, to the writers. Flattering sure, but also really hard when it comes to working as you’d always be second guessing your work. Maybe in season three when they’ve got their groove on.

  13. PJnGa says:

    I just can’t believe that they overlooked Sam Hueghan. The emotional scenes he had from after he rescued Claire from Ft William, to the heartbreaking and horrifying scenes from To Ransom A Man’s Soul…. I’m still reeling from that, it grips your own soul. I cannot fathom that didn’t deserve acknowledgement.

  14. Karen O says:

    That’s some garbage, Empire is great. I hope the Emmys let them sing and fool around and get some exposure on the live broadcast.

    • Ron says:

      Yes, this little indie darling definitely needs exposure. It might fail without the exposure, you know, with its middling viewership and all.

  15. evababy says:

    1 – I don’t think Empire deserved to get a Best Drama nom. But let’s be fair, lots of not deserving shows get nommed. You can;t convince me that Downton Abbey is some great dramatical wonder. It is nothing but a a soap opera in fancy costumes and British accents. And people get blinded by the fact and think it is super quality storytelling and don’t challenge it. Nope it is just dressed up prettier.

    2- I am more perplexed by no music noms. ‘You’re So Beautiful’ and ‘Conqueror’ are great songs. Aren’t they original to the show?

    3, Taraji wasn’t the only nom. She was the only acting nom. The show also got two noms in costuming.

    • Jules says:

      I agree completely that other soapy stuff gets nominated all the time, with Downton just the latest example, but even so, I’m not sad that Empire didn’t score a Best Drama nom. But the music… Yeah, that is a major oversight. I would also have liked to see Jussie Smollett nominated. The supporting actor category is stacked and he would never have won, but a nomination might’ve been nice.

  16. ChrisGa says:

    Love Empire but, as many others have said, it’s a great GUILTY PLEASURE. That said, Taraji was fully deserving of her nom and personally I think Jussie Smollett should’ve got nominated as well.

  17. Lexy says:

    I watched season 1 and I loved it.
    But let us be real and honest here – it’s in no way an Emmy worthy show. Taraji got her much deserved nod, but I don’t feel like the show as a whole warranted one, not with today’s competition in the drama category.
    It is a fun, addictive and highly entertaining show, but not deep enough for the Emmys (yet).

  18. “Despite Empire’s critical success…”

    No, despite its commercial success. It’s a terrible show.

  19. Fernanda says:

    I will pissed off if my Cookie wouldn’t get her Emmy. I guess Monique is celebrating this

  20. Maria says:

    Network shows get very little love from the Emmys these days. Cable shows are the new darlings of television. Kinda makes me miss the 70’s and 80’s.

  21. “We need some mot***fu***ng n*****s on the Board so we can practice racism like you wh***y mo***rf****rs!”

  22. Margo says:

    I don’t think its an outrage that Empire didn’t get nominated…but I don’t think it deserves to be grouped in with “terribly written show” or “its just a guilty pleasure”….it is a solid show that has a soap opera/sopranos/dynasty kind of feeling. To see the kind of spikes in viewership that it saw over the first season has been unprecedented in the past few years….and it’s not because it’s just a guilty pleasure. There are plenty of shows that are guilty pleasures that people enjoy but they start off half as strong as Empire did and die down over the course of the show’s run. For a network television show to give you a flawless season in 13 episodes when show’s typically run for 23/24, that is not easy to do. Kudos to the writers, the cast! and of course the tough task of bringing great ORIGINAL music to a show. It really isn’t just a show that doesn’t match up to the calibre of other dramas on cable just because it doesn’t follow the typical form.

    Besides, its the Emmys….so many shows deserve to be nominated but will never see the light of day at these award shows. Its a shame because so much of it doesn’t have to do with the show’s quality…just money and politics.

  23. Perri says:

    The Wire was snubbed and it was amazing. Empire has dues to pay.

  24. Evan says:

    Wonder if Mo’Nique will now contact him saying “Guess you didn’t play the game either.”