Does Malik Yoba Have Beef with 'Empire'? The Actor Sounds Off on Feeling His Character Was Underdeveloped & Underutilized [Audio]


Malik Yoba has been making the media rounds following the epic two-hour season finale of Empire Wednesday night.

For those of you who don’t watch the show, *SPOILER ALERT* Malik’s character Vernon Turner made an early exit after he was clobbered in the head by Andre’s wife Rhonda during an intense physical altercation.

Malik stopped by ABC’s The View and even chatted with Reverend Al Sharpton on MSNBC, but his interview with The Combat Jack Show has been gaining the most traction and raising the most eyebrows.

Does Malik have beef with Empire?

During his interview, Malik revealed his displeasure with having been killed prematurely.

“Lee [Daniels] doesn’t run the show. Him and Danny Strong created the show, but he doesn’t run it. There’s a woman named Ilene Chaiken that actually runs the show. Meaning, she runs the writer’s room, she’s in charge of hiring the directors and oversees the whole creative process of the show. So, I was definitely like ‘Dude? Really? There’s no way we can like… that’s the story.'”

He continued,

“It’s bad enough y’all haven’t written anything real significant that I can sink my teeth into. People don’t even know who Vernon was.”

“I come up from a music background. Dame Dash grew up in my building. I remember when him and Jay [Z] first met. Watching Russell Simmons create Def Jam in New York City, watching all these cats. So I knew who the Vernon-type cat is supposed to be. By the third episode, I asked, ‘Did y’all even write a bio for this dude? How am I supposed to connect the dots?'”


“Vernon was described as the chairman of the board. Since he’s the chairman of the board and they’re trying to take a company public, […] I thought we would have the opportunity of getting into the business of it. That it wouldn’t be this high-drama soap opera about everyone backstabbing each other trying to take over the throne. I thought it was going to be a different experience. When I read the script, I was like ‘Oh, so we doing “The Sopranos” right now. I’m covering up murders now.'”

Malik also hit out at the Empire writers for failing to have more scenes between him and star Taraji P. Henson.

“We [him and Taraji P. Henson] finally had a scene together in the season finale. Like it took 12 episodes… that’s the kind of sh*t to me where I was like ‘You don’t see the value in making amazing moments between these actors.’

While millions of viewers find Empire thoroughly entertaining, there have been debates over the show’s writing. Quite frankly, some feel the writing isn’t that great. Many characters come and go; some are underutilized; and potentially great story arcs aren’t always fully actualized. With that said, does Malik have a valid point? Considering that he’s been in the acting game for more than two decades, it would’ve been nice to see more from his character.

It’s a long interview, but you can catch the audio below.

[via VH1]

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