Empire is one of the highest rated shows on television, but Iman Shumpert is not a fan. After a recent game, the Cleveland Cavalier player made some interesting comments, claiming the show swagger jacked his girlfriend Teyana Taylor‘s style.
On Empire, Serayah McNeill and Bryshere Grey play Tiana and Hakeem. Tiana is an R&B singer and her boyfriend Hakeem has a flat-top. This apparently left Iman a bit perturbed.
“I don’t watch that stuff, man,” Shumpert told Northeast Ohio Media Group with an annoyed expression on his face.
“They’re using my girl’s character, her style, her look and she’s not getting anything for it,” Shumpert said of Teyana Taylor, a real-life R&B singer, dancer and actress who is Shumpert’s girlfriend. “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. Come on. That’s ridiculous. They never called us. We were blindsided. We found out by our family and fans when the show aired.”
After making the comments, Iman had a change of heart, telling TMZ he can’t hate on the actors trying to come up in the game.
“The ‘Empire’ story pertaining to myself and my girlfriend Teyana has gotten out of hand.”
“Fans of the show and friends have told us on many occasions that couple favors us but we do not at all feel that our lives are being copied/stolen.”
Shumpert continues, “I apologize to the actors on the show because they’re just being professionals and don’t deserve slander that’s not what I was trying to portray and I have to be more careful with my choice of words.”
“I do not appreciate the writer using his questions with my answers to draw quotes like I was making these elaborate answers but that’s the media. The writer took a 2-3 min convo of locker room talk after a GREAT TEAM WIN and made it look like a sit down interview and it wasn’t.”
And yet, Iman reiterated neither he nor Teyana actually watch Empire. What do you think: did the show really swagger jack the couple?