Supreme Court staying out of 'Empire' copyright lawsuit

The Supreme Court will be staying out of the actor Clayton Prince Tanksley's 2016 copyright lawsuit against "Empire" writer-director Lee Daniels.
Jussie Smollett, left, Bryshere Y. Gray, Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and Trai Byers in EMPIRE.
Jussie Smollett, left, Bryshere Y. Gray, Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and Trai Byers in "Empire."Matt Dinerstein / Photo: Matt Dinerstein - 20th Ce

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By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is staying out of a lawsuit involving the television show "Empire."

The high court said Tuesday it won't take a case involving the Fox show, which follows a black family navigating the ups and downs of the record industry. That means a decision in favor of "Empire" co-creators Danny Strong and Lee Daniels stands.

Actor Clayton Prince Tanksley sued in 2016, claiming that "Empire" was substantially similar to a television show he had pitched at a competition in 2008.

The lawsuit said Daniels was a judge at the competition and expressed an interest in the show Tanksley called "Cream," which involved a black record executive. A trial court dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the shows weren't substantially similar. An appeals court agreed.

"Empire" debuted in 2015.