“Empire” Star Trai Byers Slams Report He Wants To Quit FOX Show
“Empire” star Trai Byers is slamming a report that claimed he wants to quit the hit FOX show.
On Tuesday, the New York Post ran a story with the headline, “Trai Byers wants out of ‘Empire.'” A so-called “insider” was quoted as saying, “He feels that he studied at Yale and he’s a ‘true thespian’… The character is beneath him. He has an idea of himself as being this big Shakespearean actor.”
Byers plays Andre, the oldest son of Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), who struggles with bipolar disorder, is in an interracial marriage, and fights for acceptance from the his father. The alleged New York Post source claimed, “At first, being on ‘Empire’ was major for him. But he feels his character is not as important this season, and he hates not being the star. He thinks he has the acting chops of Taraji and Terrence. He doesn’t get how the show benefits him, and he feels he has way too much talent when he’s not the star by any means.”
The story further alleged “producers are prepared to let him leave after some behind-the-scenes diva behavior,” with it being claimed Byers supposedly “threw a temper tantrum during filming in the past few weeks, saying, ‘I don’t get to do enough, I might leave.’” But Byers himself is saying the allegations are untrue.
In an Instagram post late Tuesday, the actor wrote, “I don’t normally spend my time dispelling rumors, but there is something I’d like to address. I have nothing but love and respect for “Empire” and all who are involved on the show. I have a fabulous relationship with FOX, and hold myself to the highest standards professionally.”
“How could I think of demanding something larger than Andre, where I get to express a man with Bipolar disorder, who is on a spiritual journey to find his identity?” said Byers. “I’m so proud, so happy, and so lucky to be a part of this cast. This show has started my career. See you in Season Three!”
Byers made no mention of fiancée Grace Gealey, who also stars on the show. Filming for season two is wrapping this week. “Empire” will return from its winter hiatus on March 30.