A gay marriage between two black men occurred for the first time in primetime television history on the April 24th episode of Fox’s hit show Empire—and it’s a huge deal. The marriage took place between Jussie Smollett’s character Jamal and Toby Onwumere’s Kai. (Of course, this isn’t the only major press Smollett has received in 2019. In March, the actor was accused of staging a racially-charged attack as a response to being unhappy with his Empire paycheck, though all charges were eventually dropped).
And no matter where you stand on the Smollett incident, it’s undeniable that last night’s episode marked a critical moment for inclusion and representation.
Smollett’s sister, Jurnee Smolett-Bell, posted to her Instagram before the episode aired. She shared a photo of Jamal and Kai at the altar, writing, “Tonight, history will be made on @Empirefox. Its the first time two black men will be married on prime time television. Let that sink in.”
The moment marks major progress, and Twitter approves.
Well done, Empire. Groundbreaking doesn’t even begin to cover it.
It was a landmark moment for both the show and US TV as a whole – with it being the first ever black gay wedding aired.https://t.co/KzdW8XN2O3— Metro (@MetroUK) April 25, 2019
This Black gay wedding was wonderful. That kind of representation matters since l we usually get is wyigays or Black ones who only play in the snow #empire— TripleR 🇵🇷 (@TerpGrad01) April 25, 2019
First time seeing a gay, black wedding on TV. Go #Empire 🏳️🌈— Elie Georges (@ElieGNews) April 25, 2019