Hustle Mindset

Terrence Howard Claims His Photo Was Used For The ‘Empire’ Logo Without His Permission, Says It’s ‘Worth $100M At Least’


Following the premiere of “Empire” on Fox, the show took off instantly.

Starring Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, “Empire” broke TV records off the bat in its first season, which was released in 2015. At the time, the ratings for the musical drama series’ first five episodes increased consecutively — making it the first series to do so since 1991 — per The Washington Post.

Running from 2015 to 2020, “Empire” was everywhere and its logo, which includes Howard, was too. However, the veteran actor says he didn’t officially sign off on it.

During a sit-down interview on “Straight Talk with Daphne Phaneē,” Howard claimed that the logo Fox used is a still shot of him from his Oscar-nominated role in “Hustle and Flow.”

“They took that [photo], flipped it, and put it on everything. Made a trademark of it, sold it around the world — didn’t ask my permission.”

He continued, “That image is worth $100 million at least for how much money that they made from it.”

In addition, Howard shared that when the matter was taken to Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), Fox alleged that the image for “Empire” was a composite of him and another actor. Then, once it moved on to the appellate court, he says the company claimed the producers had Howard’s “Empire” character of Lucious Lyons in mind when the still frame was taken, making it “in character.”

“They doubled down on that lie,” said Howard during the interview. “To this day, this happened three months ago, they have not entered that into the Superior Court. I’m like enter it into Superior Court because the first thing we’re going to do is take it to SAG and SAG is going to now be forced to adjudicate or deal with it because this makes their rights of publicity or any right they have to an actor null and void.”

He added, “The moment you sign that you have the right to use my image, they can now go to anything and conceal it from you. And if you find out about it, they don’t have to tell you about it. They don’t have to pay you for it. Even, they put it on merchandise because they can cut to this precedent.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Howard filed a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox Film back in 2020.

“Howard says he can’t get a clear answer on royalties for goods bearing his name and image,” the outlet wrote. “Ultimately, though, he’s not suing for violation of his publicity rights nor a false endorsement. He’s suing for breach of contract and demands an accounting.”

While it is pending whether or not Howard’s legal issue with Fox will make its way to the Superior Court, he is “waiting to go to court” for his claims against CAA, including allegedly being owed $120 million, as previously shared by AFROTECH™.

To learn more about Howard’s claims against CAA, click here.

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