Terrence Howard has accused 20th Century Fox officials of using his likeness from Hustle & Flow to promote their hit show Empire for six seasons while he was employed as a cast member.
In the lawsuit, the actor, who played Lucious Lyon on all six seasons of Empire, says bosses at Fox TV failed to offer a satisfactory answer when he asked how they came up with the Empire logo – since he never sat for a photoshoot.
He says he ultimately determined the image was taken from the Hustle & Flow scene where “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” was being recorded in a studio, explaining: “The still frame was selected, reversed (face looking left, not right), and subjected to CGI that simply distilled the cinematographer’s skilled capture of the head with vibrant light and shadow.”
Howard insists he should be compensated for use of the image as he would have been paid by officials at Paramount – the studio behind Hustle & Flow – if 20th Century Fox got a proper license to use his image from the movie.
He’s suing for damages and wants an accounting of all the Empire merchandise using the logo, according to TMZ.
He didn’t explain why he waited until the TV series was canceled to file his lawsuit.