Iman Shumpert Says ‘Empire’ is Copying his Life
NBA star, Iman Shumpert recently spoke to Northeast Ohio Media Group and had some choice words about FOX’s hit series “Empire”, created by Lee Daniels.
When asked about his feelings towards the show, Shumpert revealed that he doesn’t watch it because the show’s celebrity couple—-Hakeem and Tiana—bare a striking resemblance to his relationship with singer and actress, Teyana Taylor.
"They're using my girl's character, her style, her look and she's not getting anything for it," Shumpert said of his girlfriend, Teyana. ”They didn't even change her name. They could have at least let my girl audition for the part instead of stealing her character completely.
Shumpert also said the show’s lead character Hakeem, acts and looks just like him.
"And come on man, they're really using a guy with a flat-top like me. Come on. That's ridiculous. They never called us. We were blindsided. We found out by our family and fans when the show aired,” he added.
Naturally, critics and social media users erupted in frenzy over Shumpert’s comments and he later had to clarify what he meant.
Shumpert later spoke to TMZ Sports and insisted that he had no intention of creating a rift between himself and the “Empire” creators. He claims that his words were taken out of context.
"Fans of the show and friends have told us on many occasions that couple favors us but we do not all feel that our lives are being copied/stolen,” he said. "I apologize to the actors on the show because they're just being professionals and don't deserve slander that's not what I was trying to portray and I have to be more careful with my choice of words."
He then continued to slam the journalist who initially interviewed him about the show.
"I do not appreciate the writer using his questions with my answers to draw quotes like I was making these elaborate answers but that's the media. The writer took a 2-3 min convo of locker room talk after a GREAT TEAM WIN and made it look like a sit down interview and it wasn’t."
Though we are pretty sure the “Empire” creators had no intention of copying Iman and Teyana, we can’t help but agree that Tiana and Hakeem greatly resemble the real-life celebrity couple.
But perhaps Lee Daniels’ lead characters was his way of making the show more relatable to his viewers. Either way, it would be interesting to see the real Teyana play “Empire’s” Tiana. What do you guys think? Would you like to see Teyana Taylor in “Empire?” Sound off below!