50 Cent's beef with Empire is heating back up again, this time thanks to an unfortunate Instagram post. In an image he's since deleted, the rapper shared a post from the account theindustryonblast_ that blamed Empire's recent ratings drop on "extra gay stuff" and "celebrity stuff."
"Empire's TV ratings took a huge hit," 50 Cent wrote in all caps in the caption. "OK, I'll stop now. Cookie, call me baby. I'll tell everybody to watch the show for you."
Empire did indeed see ratings fall in the second week of its new season — to 13.7 million viewers, still among the highest on television. The week before, Empire's second season premiere ballooned to 22.5 million with viewership on online streaming portals included. (That information has not yet been released for the second episode, so the 13.7 million figure isn't finalized.)
The "gay stuff" the Instagram post describes is likely a reference to Jamal Lyon, one of the show's central characters, and his relationship with another man. Jamal's coming out and same-sex relationship were primary plot points in the show's first season, in which the series grew in the ratings every single week it aired.
50 Cent's shot is merely the latest in a bizarre war between rapper and TV show. The artist's feud with the Fox series began back in January, when he accused the series of using similar marketing tactics as his own Starz series Power. At the time, Empire star Taraji P. Henson replied to his diss in a way that would make her character Cookie Lyon quite proud.
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"@KiaSoFlawless: @TherealTaraji how do you feel about what 50cent said about you and Terrance Howard?"<~ I pay attention to
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Meanwhile, 50 Cent has remained flirtatious with Henson and her alter ego. After Cookie described the rapper as "thirsty" in the season premiere, he responded by saying he had previously "hit that." Cookie Lyon, it should be remembered, is a fictional character.
It's not clear how long will the Cent-Empire War will last, but for his part, the rapper doesn't seem to be laying down arms any time soon.