It looks like actor Trai Byers, who plays Andre on the hit show Empire, is quieting rumors that he wanted to quit the show due to creative differences. In a lengthy Instagram post, he shared his thoughts on the matter, which you can read below.
I don’t normally spend my time dispelling rumors, but there is something I’d like to address. I have nothing but love and respect for “Empire” and all who are involved on the show. I have a fabulous relationship with FOX, and hold myself to the highest standards professionally. How could I think of demanding something larger than Andre, where I get to express a man with Bipolar disorder, who is on a spiritual journey to find his identity? I’m so proud, so happy, and so lucky to be a part of this cast. This show has started my career. See you in Season Three!
A previous story published by Page Six stated that Byers, who plays the eldest son on the show, wanted off of the successful drama because he feels as though he’s not getting enough screen-time on the program. “He feels that he studied at Yale and he’s a ‘true thespian.’ The character is beneath him. He has an idea of himself as being this big Shakespearean actor.”
The 32-year-old, who starred in Selma, All My Children, and 90210 before Empire debuted and shattered television records in early 2015, is said to be upset because his character isn’t the focal point of the series anymore.
“At first, being on Empire was major for him. But he feels his character is not as important this season, and he hates not being the star,” said a source. “He thinks he has the acting chops of Taraji [P. Henson] and Terrence [Howard]. He doesn’t get how the show benefits him, and he feels he has way too much talent when he’s not the star by any means.”
The report further stated that Byers, who is engaged to co-star Grace Gealey, is so unsatisfied with his role on the show that he recently threatened to leave the series before the second-half of its current season aired.
“Trai threw a temper tantrum during filming in the past few weeks, saying, ‘I don’t get to do enough, I might leave.’ But producers called his bluff and said, ‘Fine, if you’re not happy, we don’t need you.’”
According to the source, “He thinks he is a brilliant guy who deserves a better role, but he’s hardly one of the most popular or dynamic actors on the show. He also fired all his reps for not getting him big movie roles.”
Earlier this week, Taraji P. Henson took to Instagram to catch Byers slipping as he slept on set while the cast shot the show’s finale episode. “No one is safe,” she wrote before employing the all-important devil-faced emoji.