Many of the people who know me know that I am not what one would call a big fan of the work of Tyler Perry. Notice what I said there, I am not a fan of the WORK of Tyler Perry. Lately there has been a discussion amongst African Americans who love the works of Perry and those like myself who hate the works of Perry. That discussion always boils down to “well he gives black people jobs in Hollywood.” This is true, he does hire African American actors and he should be applauded for doing so. But that doesn’t mean I have to actually like the movies. The bigger question should be why others aren’t doing the same thing, but that’s another rant for another day.
Now while I am not a fan of the works, I do respect the man. It’s a story that’s hard not to respect. A man who had gotten as low as homelessness stuck to his dream to become one of the highest paid men in all of entertainment. But all that said the same recycled story lines and him dressing up as a woman does not a good movie make in my opinion. Here are his movies in a nutshell; successful African American woman is in a relationship with a dark skinned African American man who on the surface appears to be the perfect gentleman. Behind closed doors however he is either abusive or just a flat out asshole, enter the light skinned African American handyman/pool cleaner who just got out of prison. Madea shows up, slaps someone, insert church scene, woman comes to senses and leaves the asshole for the handyman. Boom. I just saved you hours of watching 8-10 of his movies.
You don't like my movies huh?
Then we he attempts to make a movie not based around the premise of a gun toting grandmother in “For Colored Girls” he made, in once again my opinion, an egregious error when he decided to direct the film himself. A movie that is about the experiences of African American women should be directed by an actual woman and not someone who just dresses as a woman. That would add much depth to the movie as someone like Kasi Lemmons, Neema Barnette, or Debbi Allen could use personal experience to make it a richer film. Now I didn’t see the movie so I can’t say it wasn’t a rewarding success but it would have been nice to see a woman at the helm of this film.
I guess the point of all this is can we agree that yes he should be respected for his work, but if your argument for why I should like this guy’s work is “well he hires black people,” my opinion shall remain unchanged as I am sure the above rant will not change your opinion. I only ask one question, when “Madea's Big Happy Trip to the Podiatrist” comes out make sure you don’t invite me.