Judge Allows Kids to Sue Over Filming of Fox’s ‘Empire’ at Their Jail
A game changing lawsuit is underway in Hollywood. 21st Century Fox has a lot on its legal plate at the moment — in particular, sexual harassment and racial discrimination claims at its Fox News unit — and so the due process rights of juveniles is probably not foremost on the minds of the Murdoch clan. On Thursday, a Illinois federal judge refused to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit over the way that Fox’s hit drama, Empire, commandeered a detention center in the summer of 2015, according to THR.
Two minors, through their legal guardians, brought a 12-count complaint in August 2016 on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated youth. They alleged that officials at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center put the place on lockdown so it could be used to film episodes of Empire, the series about a feuding music-industry family led by Lucious Lyon.
The plaintiffs say were ordered into “pod” areas at the detention center and sat there for days on end, depriving them of their normal school, the recreation yard, the library, the infirmary and the chapel. During this time, their sick requests were allegedly ignored and their family visits were eliminated. The kids say some of those who were incarcerated had entered the jail having been diagnosed with a mental disorder and that the lockdowns were psychologically damaging. As for their claims that due process rights were denied, they allege the lockdowns weren’t rationally related to a legitimate non-punitive purpose.
U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve writes in an opinion order that the plaintiffs have “plausibly stated” a claim. She adds, “In fact, Plaintiffs’ allegations regarding the denial of access to the infirmary and the rejected sick-call requests — alone — state an actionable claim.”
THR first reported the news