Hakeem Lyon isn’t the most likeable character on Empire (even though Lucious takes the cake of the worst of the worst), but I think there could be some room for redemption for this bad boy. I know, I know. But trust me on this one. In fact, Hakeem became a feminist ally on Empire, and he may actually be changing his tune when it comes to the women in his life.
It started with Hakeem’s birthday party in the April 5 episode. A couple of hangers-on joined the party, and one of them ended up punching Tiana’s friend Kennedy in the face when she rejected his advances. Cute, right? Anyway, Kennedy brought charges against Empire because the altercation happened at an Empire party streaming on Empire’s channel with Empire artists, and she wants to be compensated. She also wants to raise awareness on behalf of women who don't speak up. Anyway, Thirsty decides to be Hakeem’s lawyer in the matter and digs up all the dirt he can on Kennedy’s past. Not cool.
Hakeem, shaken by the coarse way in which Thirsty treats Kennedy, finally learns what victim-blaming is. Jamal tells Hakeem that he has a responsibility to share with his fans what respecting women is really about, in contrast to the message of some of his songs. To do this, Hakeem records a song that was "for the ladies" (sorry, "women," as he corrected himself), and it's all grand and beautiful. But there’s one problem. Hakeem shows the song off on Jamal’s Empire streaming channel, and Andre says it was basically an admission of guilt and they’ll probably have to pay up now. Whoops.
Truthfully, Kennedy deserves that money. She got sucker punched by some guy, and her pain and suffering is worth something. She was hurt because Hakeem decided to have a ridiculous birthday party and a man did not appreciate being rejected by her. But this civil suit is just the beginning of Hakeem’s worries. He should be worried about the women in his life and how they’re treated. It’s always moronic to me that men have to think of women as mothers, daughters, and sisters for them to feel that women are deserving of equality. But if this is the catalyst for Hakeem’s feminist journey, I’ll take it.