Perhaps Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert feels empowered by the 7.4 million dollar settlement dished out to the estate of Marvin Gaye for copyright infringement over the song Blurred Lines. Shumpert thinks another pop culture phenomenon hits a little too close to home for comfort for him.
Fox’s Empire has been the breakout success show on network television this year, but Shumpert sees one too many similarities to his life for his liking. Via Cleveland.com, Shumpert is accusing the show of taking the lives of he and girlfriend Teyana Taylor to use as the basis of the show without compensation:
Hakeem has the mannerisms, as well as the look and, strangely, the sound of Shumpert. He’s even rocking Shumpert’s patented high-top fade hairstyle.
“I don’t watch that stuff, man,” Shumpert told Northeast Ohio Media Group, an annoyed expression on his face.
“They’re using my girl’s character, her style, her look and she’s not getting anything for it,” Shumpert said of Teyana Taylor, a real-life R&B singer, dancer and actress who is Shumpert’s girlfriend. “They didn’t even change her name. They could have at least let my girl audition for the part instead of stealing her character completely.
“And come on man, they’re really using a guy with a flat-top like me. Come on. That’s ridiculous. They never called us. We were blindsided. We found out by our family and fans when the show aired.”
While there might be similarities, this seems a bit far fetched, doesn’t it? Yes, Shumpert’s girlfriend is an R&B singer. Yes, a character has Shumphert’s high-top. But if you’re going to copy anyone’s life for television, is it really going to be a backup swingman on the Cavs? Wouldn’t Anderson Varejao’s life be more interesting for a sitcom?
Then again, they were once thinking about making a sitcom about the life of Colin Cowherd, so anything is possible.