Fox In Legal Showdown Over ‘Empire’ Show Name

Published on March 24, 2015.
Michael Lavine/©Fox/courtesy Everett Collection

After the massive and somewhat unsuspected success of their hit show Empire, Fox is now in a legal showdown with a California corporation called Empire Distribution.

The label, that does work with big artists including Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg and Sean Paul, is claiming that Fox cannot use the name and is also demanding $8 million stating that the show has hurt their business because the music label featured on the series is run by a “homophobic drug dealer prone to murdering his friends.”

The label also stated however that they would drop the demand to $5 million if the show agrees to cast several of Empire Distribution’s artists as regulars on the series.

Fox is not having any of it and on Monday March 23, filed their own lawsuit outlined by Billboard, asking a judge to dismiss Empire Distribution’s claims, filing their own papers that show the label is “commercially weak” using proof that the company doesn’t appear until page seven of a Google search.

“Unfortunately, success today can often make creators a target for a myriad of baseless legal claims,” a lawyer for Fox stated. “They hope you will just pay a little something from that success to make them go away. As underscored by today’s complaint, Fox has no intention of allowing anyone to leverage Empire’s success for their own unwarranted financial gain.”

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