Rapper 50 Cent seems to be an advocate for many entertainers not being compensated correctly for their art. Once a few of them made it clear that they were getting the short end of the stick, the Queens native, with an estimated net worth of $40 million, stepped in and offered his support.
Most recently, he has thrown a lifeline to actor Terrence Howard, who filed a lawsuit against his former representation over claims those agents did not push hard enough for him in contract negotiations with “Empire” showrunners because the reps had a conflict of interest.
On Dec. 9, the “Empire” star filed his complaint in a Los Angeles Superior Court against Creative Artists Agency LLC for breach of fiduciary duty.
Details of Howard’s Lawsuit Against CAA
Lawyers for Howard write in the claim that the agency’s simultaneous representation of himself and the show’s producer, Lee Daniels, resulted in a conflict of interest and favored the showrunner when negotiating or hammering out details of Howard’s contract for the role of Lucious Lyons, a music mogul whose successful record label was powered by his dysfunctional family.
The series ranked among the top television shows from 2015 to 2020, and Howard’s character was one that kept people tuning in week after week.
Howard’s complaint said that CAA neglected to advocate on his behalf for a salary commensurate with that of comparable white actors in the industry who had hit shows, like Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards” or Jon Hamm in “Mad Men.”
“Not only did it become abundantly clear that his agents led him on a path to rely on information that was misleading, he discovered that this was the result of the fact that CAA was not acting in his best interest, but in the interest of their own financial benefit as well as the interest of the Production Companies and the producers, Daniels and Strong,” Howard’s lawsuit says, according to Variety.
He said the agency would offer showrunner and studios package deals, bundling multiple clients’ salaries, and never prioritized Terrence Howard as a standalone star.
“Under normal circumstances,” the complaint continued, “Had CAA not been the packaging agent, and had CAA not been concurrently representing the Production Companies, where their sole financial interest would have been the 10% fee from the compensation received by Howard, they would have most certainly fought for Howard in a manner that most producers are accustomed to seeing CAA agents engage in.”
He also was not quick to blame race as an issue, but said, “I can’t imagine another counterpart — a white counterpart — with the same accolades, name recognition, and numbers that I had, receiving the lowball pay that I was receiving.”
50 Cent caught wind of the lawsuit almost a month later and took to social media to extend his support.
“Damn @theterrencehoward call my phone I will get you the money they was supposed to get for you,” he wrote on Instagram. “Im not playing no games over here.”
This is not the first actor that the “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” actor has presented himself as stepping up for.
50 Cent Reaches Out to Taraji P. Henson
When Taraji P. Henson, who played Cookie on “Empire,” said that she has not been compensated correctly throughout her career, the G-Unit general offered his support in this case also.
Ironically, when the Fox show was still in production, Howard, Henson, and 50 went back and forth on which show was better, “Empire” or 50 Cent’s hit Starz show, “Power.”
50 Cent Helps Mo’Nique
The rapper-turned-businessman, has also supported comedian Mo’Nique. She alleged facing industry backlash for declining to do unpaid promotion for her Oscar-winning movie “Precious.”
50 Cent said he wanted to help her return to the screen after being impressed by her stand-up performance. Subsequently, Mo’Nique was cast as Goldie, a crime boss, in the next season of 50 Cent’s popular show “BMF.”
Howard, Henson and Mo’Nique’s all have compensation complaints that trace back to Daniels, the producer of all three of their breakout projects.
History of Helping
In the past, 50 has helped others, including rap group Mobb Deep and rraper Uncle Murda, make sense of business.
Perhaps the villain of hip-hop who strikes fear in many studios’ hearts because of his tendency to blast suits on social media is not as bad as people think.