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Entertainment

Taraji P. Henson says she fired her team for not creating professional opportunities after her stint as Cookie Lyon on Empire

By Adam S. Levy for Dailymail.com

06:59 on December 27, 2023, updated at 09:00 on December 27, 2023



Taraji P. Henson says the best business decision she made was letting her management team go after they failed to secure adequate follow-up plans for her hit series Empire.

The 53-year-old actress opened up about her career change earlier this month while appearing at a SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations career retrospective event at the foundation’s screening room in Los Angeles.

The Washington, D.C. native, speaking to Variety’s Angelique Jackson on Dec. 5, said “everyone has to go” after facing a lull in her career following her six seasons as Cookie Lyon on the 2015-2020 Fox musical drama.

The Oscar-nominated actress earned a Golden Globe and two Emmy nominations for playing the role in the series alongside Terrence Howard.

The Color Purple star – who recently opened up about her thoughts on being underpaid – said her team “didn’t put anything in place” following the success of Empire, adding: “It’s That’s why you haven’t seen me in so long.”

Taraji P. Henson, 53, says the best business decision she made was letting her management team go after they failed to secure adequate follow-up plans for her hit series Empire . Photographed earlier this month in Los Angeles
The Oscar-nominated actress opened up about her career change earlier this month while appearing at a SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations career retrospective event at the foundation’s screening room on Dec. 5.

Since Empire ended in 2020 — when the coronavirus pandemic shut down entertainment for a considerable period of time — Henson has worked on a handful of projects.

They include voice roles in 2023’s PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie and 2022’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, as well as an appearance in the Offset & Cardi B video for Jealousy.

She appeared in the 2021 TV movie Annie Live! and on an episode of Abbott Elementary earlier this year.

She said “firing everyone after Cookie” was the only decision after her team couldn’t think outside of the Empire universe for her next project, Variety reported.

Henson said she asked her team, “Where’s my deal?” Where is my advertising? Cookie was at the height of fashion. Where is my endorsement? What do you have planned after this?

Henson said his entire team was focused on “another Cookie show” because a potential spinoff on the character was ultimately turned down by Fox, according to the outlet.

“All they wanted was another Cookie show, and I said, ‘I’ll do it, but it has to be right – people deserve it… she’s too beloved for you to screw her over. ‘air,” she said. “And so when they didn’t quite get it, I was like, ‘Well, that’s it,’ and they didn’t have anything else. .. “You’re all fired.”‘

Henson, who was also seen in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Hidden Figures, said it took her “years to get” to a point where she felt it was essential to end relationships long-standing business.

Henson received critical acclaim for her role as Cookie Lyon for six seasons on the Fox musical drama from 2015 to 2020 opposite Terrence Howard. Photographed in 2018
The Washington, D.C. native, speaking to Variety’s Angelique Jackson, said “everyone has to go” after facing a lull in her career after Empire.
Henson said his entire team focused on “this being another Cookie series” because a potential spinoff about the character was ultimately turned down by Fox.
Henson said the lack of endorsements, publicity and similar professional opportunities after the Empire run led her to cut ties with her team.
Henson said it took her “years to get” to a point where she felt it was essential to end long-standing business relationships.

“I stayed with the same team for years,” Henson said.

The main lesson for stakeholders, she said, is that sometimes it is essential to change direction if they are not meeting their obligations.

“You are the prize; never forget that,” Henson said. “You are the talent. You are their check. Don’t forget all this. They work for you. If it doesn’t…someone else will.

Henson is currently enjoying a career resurgence playing the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple, which is currently in theaters.

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