Here’s a Philly Man’s Lawsuit Against Empire Creator Lee Daniels

Clayton Prince Tanksley says Daniels took his idea.

A Philly man is suing Lee Daniels, the creator of the Fox show Empire, saying Daniels took the idea for the show from him.

Clayton Prince Tanksley says he pitched a show called Cream to Daniels at a 2008 event organized by the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. He says he gave Daniels a script and a DVD of three 30-minute episodes of the proposed show.

Tanksley says that Empire is “substantially similar” to Cream — with elements such as mood, characters, plots, scenes, and story lines that are “virtually identical” to the materials he gave Daniels at the pitch meeting.

It’s worth taking a look at the lawsuit, below, because it features side-by-side comparisons of Tanksley’s project and Empire. One example:

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Other defendants include producer Danny Strong, Fox TV, as well as Sharon Pinkenson and the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. The lawsuit, filed Friday, seeks an unspecified amount of damages, plus interest.