Empire Celebrates Season 2 With Carnegie Hall Premiere and Fashion Week Appearance

Posted by at 9:46 am on September 14, 2015

empire-season-2-event-carnegie-hallEmpire took over Carnegie Hall on Saturday, celebrating the Sept. 23 launch of the Fox drama’s second season with an event that was by turns serious, silly and appropriately musical.

Co-creator Lee Daniels noted that the hugely successful show with a largely black cast has hit at a time of great tension in race relations, following a string of questionable deaths of black men at the hands of police officers. The “Black Lives Matter” movement is reflected forcefully in “Empire’s” season premiere episode, as the Lyon family seeks to stir up public backlash to the jailing of Terrence Howard’s Lucious Lyon for murder.

“Where we are in America with race relations is an ugly place,” Daniels told the packed house of “Empire” devotees. “It’s time we tear the roof off this mother——. It’s time we see that we are all one.”

Daniels was effusive in his praise throughout the night for Fox Television Group chairman-CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. He acknowledged that some of the material must make the two squirm as it pushes the envelope in many directions. But the two have been unwavering in backing the vision of Daniels and co-creator Danny Strong for the show that revolves around the many struggles of a by-the-bootstraps family that built a successful music label.

“They don’t necessarily agree with what we put on screen, but there is a trust. They trust that we’re going to deliver for them,” Daniels said. Fox’s decision to “put black people on TV is changing the face of television,” he added.

Taraji P. Henson, who plays larger-than-life matriarch Cookie Lyon, said that despite the foibles of Lucious and Cookie, the success of their business sends a message to viewers. “These characters have broken the cycle of poverty,” Henson said. “Anybody from the ‘hood knows that is very hard to do. (Lucious and Cookie) are heroes in a very American way.”

In closing, Gray and Smollett took the crowd through a quick set of key songs from the first season, including the hits “Drip Drop” and “You’re So Beautiful.”

Empire SaksThe cast also  celebrated the unveiling of their new EMPIRE-curated fashion collaboration with a star studded soiree at retailer’s Fifth Avenue flagship. In attendance were EMPIRE cast membersTerrence Howard, Trai Byers, Grace Gealey, Kaitlin Doubleday, Gabourey Sidibe, and Ta’Rhonda Jones. EMPIRE Executive ProducersBrian Grazer, Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Ilene Chaiken, Francie Calfo and Sanaa Hamri also held court along with Fox Television Group Chairmen and Co-CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman.

Empire Season 2 premiere’s

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