The late, great Ray Charles could have seen this coming.
Nothing has been confirmed by network executives or producers associated with the show, but a little birdie told the New York Post’s Page Six that Terrence Howard’s screen time on Empire this upcoming season has been drastically reduced because of all the messy details spilling out from his divorce.
In a recent lawsuit, Howard’s ex-wife accused him of assaulting her; his most recent marriage quietly ended in a divorce; and all of these allegations reminded folk that another one of his ex-wives had accused him of assault back in 2001.
According to the source, there’s concern that the controversy in his personal life may impact how he’s perceived on the show, and it seems Fox executives don’t want that kind of energy around.
Remember how Lucious Lyon (the character Howard plays on Empire) was arrested at the end of season 1? Sources told Page Six that keeping Lyon behind bars will allow more screen time for Taraji P. Henson (who plays Lyon’s ex-wife, Cookie) and other storylines involving cameo guests.
“What they are doing is twofold,” the source said. “They have him locked up so you won’t be seeing him in as many scenes. But they are bringing in so many, and I mean so many, guest stars and cameos that the average viewer won’t realize it because there is so much going on.”
We’ll see how successful they are if this is indeed true. Lucious Lyon has played a big role on Empire.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.