Empire is under fire courtesy of a new lawsuit that claims the FOX series caused distress to juvenile detention inhabitants.
The production crew went to Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center to film the scenes when Terrence Howard’s Lucious Lyon served jail time in season two. Now, in a class action suit, two unnamed former residents of the Chicago detention center are claiming that the filming caused them “psychological and emotional traumas.”
The lawsuit, originally obtained by Deadline, alleges that when the Empire crew was there several of the detention center’s amenities weren’t available to them including “JTDC’s school, its facilities for family visits, its only outdoor recreation yard, its library, and its chapel.”
The lawsuit also says that the Empire crew breached “fiduciary duty” and “violated the children’s rights under the U.S. Constitution and state law” by “putting the children housed at the JTDC on lockdown so that the Defendants could use the facility to film a profitable television show.”
The two plaintiffs are representing on behalf of the 400 other people who were held in the detention center at the time. In order to rectify the alleged offense, the plaintiffs are seeking the profits earned from the two episodes that used the detention center’s facilities.
This will likely include the $750,000 per 30-second advertising spot in Season 2’s Episode 1, and $600,000 per 30-second spot in Season 2’s Episode 2.
Read the entire lawsuit here.