With the release of his new Pepsi commercial, Empire star Jussie Smollett becomes the first black openly gay man to star in a major soda campaign.
In a meta twist, the filming of the commercial, which was directed by Lee Daniels, occurred as a plot point of Empire’s season 2. The song used in the ad, “Ready to Go,” was created by Smollet’s character’s parents, Cookie and Lucious Lyon, in the Fox show, but produced by Swizz Beatz in real life.
The commercial debuted in both worlds during Empire’s mid-season finale this week. The show will resume in March.
Smollett came out publicly on The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this year.
Big up to Pepsi for not worrying about the haters who might have an issue with this. I know I sure don’t 🙂