Empireannounced the addition of Nia Long to its cast in November, and already, there are rumors that she and her co-star Taraji P. Henson are feuding. TMZ reported that the actresses were fighting so much they stopped talking to each other, and the producers considered shooting the scenes they were both in separately.
We can't be too surprised by the gossip, since people seem to make assumptions like this every time two women are in the same room. But as is often the case, the assumption was false, according to Long's representative.
"This story is complete nonsense," she said in a statement, according to E! News. "Throughout her long, established career, Nia has been nothing but a consummate professional treating all members of productions with respect. ... This is nothing but another complete fabrication about a series that has been plagued by constant rumors of drama and misconduct."
Of course, it's possible the reports are right and Long's rep is just trying to safe face. But we're skeptical any time the tabloids report on actresses' supposed feuds. These rumors play into a tired stereotype of women as catty and unable to coexist peacefully.
Sarah Jessica Parker called this out when she was the subject of a co-star feud rumor herself. "They just didn’t do it to the Sopranos guys," she told Time of the reports that she and Kim Cattrall didn't get along. "It was so strange to me and upsetting. I posted something on Kim’s birthday and people were like 'Oh my God, I didn’t know you liked her!' What? We were all at liberty to walk away at any time! But nobody asked those questions of shows with men. Isn’t that interesting?"
Whether or not Long and Henson like each other, we trust in their — and women's — ability to be civil toward one another and save the drama for when they're behind the camera.
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