Fox is facing a class action lawsuit after filming scenes for the first two episodes of Empire‘s season 2 at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Illinois.
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The suit could reportedly represent upwards of 400 people and claims Empire production created a “harmful environment” for its residents. It will seek “unspecified damages and a portion of profits from the show.”
Entertainment Weekly reports:
The lawsuit was filed by the guardians of two former residents of the Cook County (Illinois) Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, who stayed there last summer. During their time there, Empire shot scenes for the first two episodes of season 2 over six days in June, four days in July, and four days in August, according to the lawsuit. The housed children were forced to stay in their pods while the show was filming, the suit alleges.
According to the lawsuit, many of the facilities detrimental to the residents’ rehabilitation were shut down during production. The suit also contends residents were placed under restrictions “more severe than those governing many adult jails.”
“Numerous areas that are essential to the JTDC’s mission of educating and rehabilitating the children housed there — including the JTDC’s school, its facilities for family visits, its only outdoor recreation yard, its library, and its chapel — were placed off limits so that Fox’s agents and employees could use them to stage and film the show,” reads the lawsuit, which was obtained by Deadline.
“The purpose of these lockdowns was to provide Fox with a realistic prison facility to use as the primary set of two highly profitable Empire episodes,” the lawsuit continues. “The children at JTDC, meanwhile, were placed under restrictions more severe than those governing many adult jails.”
Empire stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson play the temperamental heads of the hip-hop reigning Lyon family. Season 2’s premiere episode raked in 16.2 million viewers and the second episode trailed right behind with 13.7 million. According to EW, “The lawsuit alleges 30-second ad buys for each episode cost $750,000 and $600,000, respectively.”
We will keep you updated as new information surfaces.
20 Reasons Taraji P. Henson Is Our Favorite Girl In Hollywood (PHOTOS)
1. Because that one eyebrow is ALWAYS on fleek.1 of 20
2. Because she's a Howard University woman.2 of 20
3. Because she's serving EVERYTHING on Fox's new hit show "Empire."3 of 20
4. Because we all have a little "Yvette" from "Baby Boy" in us. (And some of us have had a Jody in our lives too).4 of 20
5. Because somehow she manages to make every selfie on Instagram look like a full-fledged photoshoot.5 of 20
6. Because she's never afraid to take off the heels and just be a down chick.6 of 20
7. Because she's never hesitant to show love to other sisters in Hollywood.7 of 20
8. Because this reminds us of something we would do in the pool. Basically...we're all Taraji.8 of 20
9. Because she uses her celebrity for the causes that mean the most.9 of 20
10. That hair!10 of 20
11. Because her filmography is more diverse than people who've been in the game longer than her (and we must say...better).11 of 20
12. Because she rocked this patterned ensemble on the 'Gram and now we wish we had one.12 of 20
13. Because no matter the role, the time period, or the emotion, she's spot on.13 of 20
14. Did we mention the hair?14 of 20
15. All of these movies...ALL OF THEM.15 of 20
16. Because she got a chance to do this to Idris Elba. It's not fair, but that's our girl, so we're happy for her.16 of 20
17. Because she's always a little DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) wherever she goes (even when she's rocking a NY hat).17 of 20
18. There goes that hair...18 of 20
19. Need we say more?19 of 20
20. And because she'll always be the relatable girl next door that we love. Never change, Taraji!20 of 20
Kids Claim They Were Mistreated During “Empire” Filming, File Lawsuit was originally published on globalgrind.com