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Taraji P. Henson Fired Her Entire Team For Not Capitalizing On The Success Of Her ‘Empire’ Character ‘Cookie Lyon’

Taraji P. Henson explains why she fired her entire team for not capitalizing on the success of her "Empire" character, Cookie Lyon.

Cookie Lyon was the certified breakout star of Lee Daniels’ hit scripted series Empire. But Taraji P. Henson didn’t feel like her team at the time did enough to capitalize off her character’s popularity. So she fired them all.

Henson recently sat down with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation as part of her press run for The Color Purple, and the Academy Award-nominated actress didn’t hold back when asked about the best business decision she has made in her career.

“Firing everybody after Cookie,” she said in a clip shared online. “Everybody had to f—kin’ go.”

“Where is my deal? Where’s my commercial? Cookie was at the top of the fashion game. Where is my endorsement? What did you have set up for after this? That’s why you all haven’t seen me in so long. They had nothing set up.”

Henson revealed her team’s petition for her to headline a spinoff show centered around Cookie Lyon, which she wasn’t opposed to if it was done “right.”

“All they wanted was another Cookie show, and I said, ‘I’ll do it, but it has to be right,” she explained. “The people deserve; she’s too beloved for y’all to f—k it up.’ And so, when they didn’t get it right, I was like, ‘Well, that’s it,’ and they had nothing else. ‘You’re all f—kin’ fired.”

The moment is among the latest candid interviews Henson has given as part of The Color Purple press tour, which includes her recent sit down with Gayle King on Sirius XM, where she was brought to tears while admitting her thoughts of quitting acting due to being underpaid for her work.

“I’m just tired of working so hard, being gracious at what I do, getting paid a fraction of the cost,” Henson said through tears.

“I’m tired of hearing my sisters say the same thing over and over. You get tired. I hear people go, ‘You work a lot.’ I have to. The math ain’t math-ing. And you start working a lot, you have a team. Big bills come with what we do. We don’t do this alone. It’s a whole team behind us. They have to get paid.”

“They have to get paid. So when you hear someone saying, ‘Oh, such and such made $10 million,’ no, that didn’t make it to their account. Know that off the top, Uncle Sam is getting 50%, OK? So, do the math; now we have $5 million.”

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