Cavs' Iman Shumpert Says Fox Show 'Empire' Is Ripping Off Him and His Girlfriend

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2015

AP Images

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert may not watch the Fox series Empire, a show that chronicles the hip-hop world, but he does have a beef with the show.

Shumpert and his girlfriend Teyana Taylor have distinct hairstyles; Shumpert rocks the flat top, and Taylor—an R&B singer—is known for her full, curly look.

In the series, Hakeem Lyon (played by Bryshere Gray) and girlfriend Tiana Brown (played by Serayah McNeill) each have similar hairdos. Interestingly, Brown is also an R&B singer.

Teyana Taylor
Teyana TaylorAlberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Shumpert has been made aware of the similarities. 

Iman. @imanshumpert

"@AtlHulio: Damn Joe I ain't know they cast you on Empire @I_Am_Iman 😂😭😂😭. http://t.co/O2tKn52mpf" Lm3ABMao he light skin doe

He may be cracking jokes in the tweet, but he's not thrilled about the situation.

Shumpert shared his thoughts on the show with Chris Haynes of Northeast Ohio Media Group:

They're using my girl's character, her style, her look and she's not getting anything for it. They didn't even change her name. They could have at least let my girl audition for the part instead of stealing her character completely.

And come on man, they're really using a guy with a flat top like me. Come on. That's ridiculous. They never called us. We were blindsided. We found out by our family and fans when the show aired.

I don't see how they can deny it. Everybody knows.

Haynes tried to get a comment from Empire but was unable to reach the show's producers.

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 7:  Iman Shumpert #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the game against the Phoenix Suns on March 7, 2015 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or usi
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

"My girl and her fans are more mad about it than I am," Shumpert said, via Haynes. "I'm a ball player, but that's her field. That's what she does. Me personally, I don't plan on taking any action but I don't know about her."

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After Haynes' story began to circulate around the web, Shumpert wanted to clear up the situation with some tweets (since deleted):



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