Here’s a small smattering of headlines that followed Lee Daniels’ response to the Emmy “snub” of Empire for best drama yesterday.
Empire strikes back: Lee Daniels posts fiery response to Emmy snub
Lee Daniels Gets Real About Empire’s Emmy Snub
Lee Daniels, ‘Empire’ Creator, Doesn’t Take Emmys Snub Too Well
Lee Daniels on the Emmy Voting Committee: “FUCK These MotherFUCKERS!”
Tell us how you really feel, Lee Daniels
I put snub in quotation marks, of course, because it’s not really a snub if a show didn’t warrant a nomination. I mean, yes: Empire was the highest rated new show of the season, it was terrifically fun, transformed network television, brought more diversity to casting, and Taraji P. Henson was outstanding (and was thusly recognized), but look at the dramas that were nominated:
Better Call Saul
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Orange Is The New Black
I’m not saying that Empire wasn’t better than Downton Abbey (webcam coverage of a dead rat floating down a sewer drain is better than Downton Abbey), but there’s a series of others “snubs” you have to go through before you get to Empire (Justified, Jane the Virgin, Rectify, The Knick, The Americans, Bloodine, The Good Wife, Hannibal, The Leftovers). Empire was entertaining, but I wouldn’t say Emmy-worthy.
All of which is to say that Daniels wasn’t really upset by the lack of Emmy nomination, his use of “fuck these motherfuckers” in reference to the Emmy voters notwithstanding. The Instagram post with Jussie Smollett was clearly in jest, as anyone who watched it would understand, despite what the above outrage-driven headlines might suggest.
However, because of those headlines, and because NO ONE ON THE FUCKING INTERNET CAN TAKE A JOKE ANYMORE, Lee Daniels had to go back to Instagram and clarify what was already obvious: That he was fucking around.