Members of the Empire cast, including Jussie Smollet, Gabourey Sidibe and Serayah McNeill, joined the show's creator, Lee Daniels, at the Human Rights Campaign Gala Saturday night in Los Angeles. The show was being honored for raising awareness of LGBT communities.
“Empire has undeniably changed hearts and minds in the fight for LGBT equality,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This groundbreaking series has especially helped to raise the visibility of LGBT people of color, whose stories have been underrepresented in the media.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Daniels pressed the audience “to do the right thing” and vote for Hillary Clinton. Although he never mentioned Trump by name, Daniels insisted, “He’s taking over—he’s coming in to take us down, y’all, and this is serious business. Let’s do the right thing and make sure Clinton is in the f—ing office and taking care of us.”
“I don’t think you realize how much they’re coming for us,” he added. “And this is not a joke. I’ve watched everyone make light of what is going on. They are coming for every one of you. White people are not excluded—they’re coming for us.”
“It’s time for us to do the right thing. I’m not laughing; this ain’t funny,” said Daniels.