By: Zarin Hamid
Lee Daniels’s latest hit, the tv show Empire, breaks down social barriers in several ways. I was not too sure how this tv show would turn out, but I decided to take the risk and spend some time watching the pilot. Instantly, I was hooked on the tv show, which showcases stigmas we have facing us in society today. The tv show tackles everything from how society deals with mental illness and gay rights and the desire to be accepted by family to interracial relationships and those that disapprove of them and poverty vs. wealth.
This show captures the true rags to riches story of an artist who decides not to give up and to make his dream come true by whatever means necessary. Most importantly, this show tells of a mother who commits a crime for her husband in order for him to protect their children and keep their dreams of becoming famous musicians alive. The mother in this show, Cookie Lyon (represented by Taraji P. Henson) has a great attitude about life in general. From the beginning of the show, when two of her sons wanted nothing to do with her, to the end of the season, Cookie Lyon displayed her resilience.
Cookie Lyon served 17 years in jail and eventually reconciled with all three of her children and is there to support them in their music ventures despite her mistreatment throughout the show. From Annika’s consistent sabotage to her youngest sons’ continuous disrespect and eventually Lucious’s barring her from entering the Empire, Cookie Lyon carries on. One can say it would have been easier for her to take some of Lucious’s money and move on, but her desire to have her own success became the driving force she needed to remain in the city and claim her rightful spot in the music industry.