“I don’t know what gives me more pleasure: watching my story unfold or going in and watching a room full of black people talking for me and writing words for black people,” Daniels said. “I hate white people writing for black people; it’s so offensive. So we go out and look specifically for African-American voices. Yes, it’s all about reverse racism!”
Daniels then questioned the other panel members about whether they had black writers on their staffs, and the majority of them said no. If you take Daniels’ comments at face value, however, you’ll miss the sarcasm and nuance, especially since there are white writers writing for Empire, and Empire’s co-creator, Danny Strong, and showrunner, Illene Chaiken, are both white.
But to Daniels’ point, if a show is going to be about the black experience, of course there should be black writers. Think of how many shows you’ve watched where you could clearly tell there weren’t any black writers in the room.
It doesn’t take much to realize, after hearing dialogue and storylines, that some of the most popular black shows from back in the day didn’t have one black writer sitting there to veto some of the craziness that was allowed to go on the air.
Empire is far from perfect and should be only taken for its entertainment value, but Daniels recognizes that Hollywood has a diversity problem and isn’t afraid to speak about it.tweetsource