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Now wrapping up its first season, the Lee Daniels show Empire has been a surprise hit with audiences across the country. One person who’s not a fan though is Cleveland Cavaliers star Iman Shumpert.

Shumpert, who’s been having a solid year with the Cavs putting up just over nine points per game this season, recently told that he refuses to watch Empire because he thinks the show is stealing its plot points from his own life. Specifically, Shumpert has a gripe about the show borrowing the name and likeness of his girlfriend, R&B star Teyana Taylor, and claims he was blindsided by the series.

“They’re using my girl’s character, her style, her look and she’s not getting anything for it,” Shumpert told the site, referring to the character Tiana. “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.

“And come on man, they’re really using a guy with a flat top like me,” he added with reference to the show’s character Hakeem. “Come on. That’s ridiculous. They never called us. We were blindsided. We found out by our family and fans when the show aired.”

Shumpert, a player known for his strong defense on the court, continued with a note claiming Taylor is more angry than him about the show and left open the possibility that she might even take steps against the Fox series.

“I don’t see how they can deny it,” he said. “Everybody knows…My girl and her fans are more mad about it than I am. I’m a ball player, but that’s her field. That’s what she does. Me personally, I don’t plan on taking any action but I don’t know about her.”

Maybe Daniels and his writing staff have to rethink their second season plans?


After all the waves he made with his comments about the show, Shumpert clarified his statements about Empire on Twitter and hinted that the journalist took his comments out of context.

Check out Shump’s Tweets below:


‘Empire’s’ It Girl Reacts To Cookie’s ‘Boo Boo Kitty’ Line: ‘I Was Like Oh, She’s Setting It Off’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

Art Imitates Life: Did ‘Empire’ Tackle Bipolar Disorder Accurately?

‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Says He Wasn’t Hiding In Anyone’s ‘Closet’

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