'Precious' director hopes new show 'blows the lid off' homophobia in the African-American community

The creator of hit new US TV show Empire says that he hopes the series will "blow the lid off" homophobia in the African-American community. The series - which has become one of the highest rated shows of 2015 in the US - centers around a music and entertainment company, Empire Enterprises, and the drama surrounding the founders' family. Empire Lee Daniels - who has previously directed Hollywood films Precious and The Butler - has admitted that he hopes the rocky relationship between the show's main character and his gay son will change attitudes towards homosexuality among some African-American parents. In the first episode of the series, Lyon (Terrance Howard) is seen throwing his son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) into a bin after catching him trying on his mother's high-heels. "What we're trying to do is to give people the opportunity to see that what they're doing is painful," said Daniels."I'm glad that I can show the African-American community that this is what you're doing to your son, this is what you're doing to your nephew, this is what you're doing to the kid down the street." Empire currently airs on FOX in the US. A UK air date is yet to be announced. More stories: ‘Maleficent’ star Brenton Thwaites comes out as bisexual? Neil Patrick Harris set to become People’s first ever gay ‘Sexiest Man Alive’?