Lee Daniels, creator of the Fox series
Empire, said Sunday that he and Jussie Smollett have received
death threats over the show's gay storylines.
On the hit show, Smollett, 31, plays
Jamal Lyon, who struggles with his father's objection to him being
came out gay in March.
In one scene, Lucious Lyon (played by
Terrence Howard) throws his son into a trashcan when he finds him
wearing women's clothing as a child.
“I have to relate to these people,”
Daniels, who is openly gay, said at the 2015 Produced by Conference
in Los Angeles. “That trash can scene? It happened [to me].”
“This is real. Homophobia is real in
the African-American community. … And we will continue to do our
thing until homophobia is done,” Daniels
said to applause.