Writer, director and producer Lee Daniels recently talked about watching focus groups react to same-sex kissing on his new show, Empire. Daniels referred to the dial technology used by focus groups to give instant feedback as to whether they love or hate something. When viewers love something they turn their dials up to a ten, whereas when they hate it they turn to zero. So how did the majority of those in the focus group first react to a gay kiss on Empire?
They’re at a ten until the two men kiss. So at the end the questioner asks, 'why is it a zero when two men kiss?' And you knew that the hundred people in the room — a hundred people in the room, most of them, 90 percent, 95 percent of them were heterosexual — didn’t want to admit to their homophobia so they just sort of look at the floor—it’s like not admitting to be a racist…'But can you tell me why you’re at a zero? Why do you go from a ten to a zero?' Because it’s unaccepted. I think that it’s slowly becoming a thing because we are making it a thing. It is the civil rights of our time right now and I think we have to not back down.
Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...
And you can watch Empire Wednesdays at 9 PM ET/PT on Fox.