“Empire”: Cookie Tells Jamal To “Get Your Gay Back!”

"Just because I have sex with two women in my entire life doesn't mean, you know, I'm straight or bi, or anything. "

When Empire went on mid-season hiatus last fall, Jamal had just hooked up with his music idol, a woman.

Now the series is back, and everyone is up in arms about the music prodigy’s sexual fluidity. On the show, protestors complain the middle Lyon is “flip-flopping” on his sexuality.

In real life, some viewers aren’t happy either. “Can there be one show where the gay man doesn’t end up sleeping with a woman?” asked a NNN reader. “I assume this ends with a baby.”


On last night’s episode, “Death Will Have His Day,” even Cookie has her say on the issue. Jamal is up for an Asa Award, and Cookie tries to give him some pointers on waging a successful campaign for the honor.

Cookie: You messing around with girls? Pick a damn team.

Jamal: I’m picking nothing. Do what I want to do, and ain’t nobody’s business who I get down with.

Cookie: So what does this mean, huh? You one of them wishy-washy, confused bisexuals now?

Jamal: (Laughs) Whatever. No. Sexuality is fluid.

Cookie: Shut up.

Jamal: Mom, it is, I’m sorry. It is. You know what I’m saying? You-you have straight and-and gay and bi and a lot a bit of everything. I don’t know.

Cookie: Yeah, it sound like y’all just want to be freaky-deaky. A little freaky-deaky.

Jamal: (Laughs) You ain’t never slept with no woman?

Cookie: Boy, nobody having that conversation with you.

Jamal: Oh, really? Look, all I’m saying is that sometimes things happen, you know? You feel a certain way and you… You act on it or you don’t. Just because I have sex with, uh, two women in my entire life doesn’t mean, you know, I’m straight or bi or anything. I’m still a gay brother looking for a man.

Cookie: (Laughs) Yeah, me, too. All night long.

Jamal: Okay, all right, see, you got to take it too far. I’m out. I like…

Cookie: Shut up, boy. How you think your big-head ass got here?

Jamal: Immaculate conception.

Cookie: Look, Jamal, listen to me. You cannot piss people like Jamieson off if you want to win an Asa Award, okay? Awards are like politics, baby. Think of this like a campaign. You’re running for office, all right? So I need you to get your head back in the game and get your gay back and get that Asa Award! You need to become legendary.

From Mama Cookie’s mouth to God’s ear.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.