Despite starring in the Fox musical drama Empire as the ruthless Lucious Lyon for six seasons, Terrence Howard has accused the studio, 20th Century Fox Television (now known as 20th Television now that Disney has bought Fox) of not paying him. He’s now alleging that the studio is guilty of using his logo from his Oscar-winning 2005 film Hustle & Flow for Empire.
TMZ reports that Howard is suing the studio for using his likeness from Hustle & Flow to promote Empire. In the lawsuit, Howard claims the studio did not give him a good answer when he questioned how they decided on a logo for Empire when he did not participate in a photoshoot.
Howard says he came to the conclusion that the image was taken from the famous Hustle & Flow scene where his character records “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” in a studio.
According to Howard, he says “the still frame was selected, reversed (face looking left, not right), and subjected to CGI that simply distilled the cinematographer’s skilled capture of the head with vibrant light and shadow” to recreate it for the Empire logo.
Howard claims loss of income from Paramount Studios, the studio behind Hustle & Flow, alleging he would have been properly compensated if Fox acquired proper licensing for the logo. He’s suing for damages and wants access to financial records for all the Empire merchandise sold using the logo.
You can read the full complaint, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, here.
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