Everyone’s talking about Terrence Howard these days, but not necessarily because of his role as Lucious Lyon on “Empire.” The hit Fox series is certainly why the mainstream suddenly cares about the actor, but everyone is much more interested in Howard’s sordid personal life than they are his television character. And for good reason, Howard has faced numerous allegations of domestic abuse in his past, from reportedly punching his first wife to hitting a couple in a restaurant, to also putting his hands on his most recent ex-wife Michelle Ghent. And even when it came to attempting to explain away some of this behavior in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Howard did himself no favors, saying of his first wife: “She was talking to me real strong, and I lost my mind and slapped her in front of the kids. Her lawyer said it was a closed fist, but even slapping her was wrong. And as for Ghent: “She was trying to Mace me and you can’t see anything so all you can do is try to bat somebody away, and I think that something caught her. But I wasn’t trying to hit her.”
Funny enough, most people seem to accept Howard’s explanations. Not a single Change.org petition has been launched to fire him from “Empire” or even call for cancellation of the show. Most of us are still expecting to see him as Q in the upcoming “Best Man 3” film, and aside from a few pesky court dates, Howard’s overall image and livelihood haven’t been particularly threatened. For the most part, people just want to know what’s up, which is why Lee Daniels strong defense of the star in the latest issue of the Hollywood Reporter is so baffling.
Despite being advised not to speak on the actor’s ongoing cases, the “Empire” co-creator had to let his shocking thoughts be known, saying:
“That poor boy. [Terrence] ain’t done nothing different than Marlon Brando or Sean Penn, and all of a sudden he’s some f—in’ demon. “That’s a sign of the time, of race, of where we are right now in America.”
So because Terrence Howard allegedly beat women like other white men it should be swept under the rug? I get Daniels’ point about how the “others” tend to get away with vile behavior black stars are crucified for, but this is not the example Daniels needs to use to make that point. Wrong is wrong and if we’re being honest, so far Howard has gotten off virtually scott-free for his behavior, save a few guilty pleas to disorderly conduct. Not once have I seen anyone call Howard a demon but he is a disturbed individual, no doubt. One slap of a woman might be a terrible mistake, repeated incidences of physical abuse toward women suggests a dangerous pattern of behavior and we have every right to call him out for it, as should the people who keep him on payroll.
Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter