One of the greatest things entertainment allows an individual to do is live vicariously through characters on screen. Studies show that exposure to a situation or an idea is likely to stimulate growth in the human brain regarding similar situations. Rather than being disinterested, people can develop empathy by identifying with these characters.
When movies show us the feelings of characters it might be easier for people to connect. Heck, even in reality shows we carry empathy. In some cases there are big rewards as we get to feel rewarded when the character or group becomes the victor in the end. The only issue is that in other cases the character loses and we feel empty or negative when leaving the experience.
Entertainment is a form of escapism and it does not actually allow us to get in touch with our feelings and the feelings of others. Because we are not honestly connecting with other human beings and instead focusing all of our attentions on entertainment, we are not properly empathizing with one another as people.
The way I can tell that empathy is impeded by entertainment is not because of the entertainers themselves--they sometimes bring out empathy in us--but by how terribly entertainers are treated by the media and then the fans. Take Britney Spears, for example. The hate she received was absolutely insane and unwarranted.
I believe empathy is impeded by entertainment. Entertainment distracts people from the real world, from the things that really matter. That is the purpose of entertainment, so you can escape from real life for a moment. Entertainment is not concerned with empathy, it seeks to erase feelings of worry or sorrow.