‘Empire’ Creator Lee Daniels Reveals Oprah Said ‘You’ll Never Last in TV’ (Video)

“She’s right. I did two episodes and it’s rough,” the Fox drama’s boss tells TheWrap

“Empire” creator and director Lee Daniels says he was apprehensive about tackling his first ever TV show.

“It was time to get into another medium,” Daniels told TheWrap during a press junket for the show. “No one believed I could do it. Oprah said, ‘You’ll never last in TV.’ She’s right. I did two episodes and it’s rough.”

Oprah and Daniels worked together n the award-winning movie “The Butler.”

But, Daniels says the experience of doing a TV series has already taught him one thing.

“I learned to be a collaborator,” he said. “Lots of cooks [in the kitchen] Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian, Jamaican, Indians. But, what I learned is that I was able to work under that pressure.”

“Empire” follows Lucious Lyon (Howard), a gangster-turned rapper who is now the CEO of a successful music empire. After being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease aka ALS, Lucious decides to leave his company to one of his three sons: his business-smart eldest, his rap star youngest son, and his middle child, Jamal, a talented singer-songwriter who has been pushed aside by the family because he’s gay.

“Everything you see in the first episode is my world,” Daniels said. “Homophobia is so rampant, not only in the American community, but specifically the Latino and the African-American communities.”

When asked whether Oprah might make a cameo on the show, Daniels said no. “She said she has her own network now.”

But, the “Empire” director did give TheWrap one scoop: Denzel Washington has already expressed interest in appearing on the show.

“He’s going to be a bum,” he said.

Watch the interview with Daniels here.

“Empire” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.