He’s been silent for years as Spike Lee and other Black filmmakers criticized his hugely popular Madea films, but Tyler Perry has finally responded with a loud, “Go to hell.”
Mr. Madea has been busy promoting the upcoming franchise film, Madea’s Big Happy Family, and he finally spoke up about all the hate he’s received about his movies’ characters while on tour.
“I’m so sick of hearing about d@#n Spike Lee. Spike can go straight to hell! All ya’ll can print that," he told reporters at a press event. "I am so sick of him talking about me. I am sick of him saying, ‘This is a coon. This is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about Black people going to see movies. Spike can shut the hell up,” he added.
Tyler has had little to say in response to the criticism throughout the years but assured that he has taken note.
“Even though I don’t say anything, it doesn’t mean that I’m not aware of it. They say all kinds of things about the films, Madea and me. They call me everything but a child of God,” Tyler said.
Spike isn’t the only critic of Tyler and his Madea character. Although the films do well among Black audiences, many have said they agree with Spike, including Idris Elba, who starred in Tyler’s Daddy’s Little Girls.
"I don’t like all of Tyler Perry’s films. Yes, I did work with Tyler for Daddy’s Little Girls because it portrayed a positive image of a Black father. I am happy for Tyler’s success…we need Tyler Perry…by going to support his movies, we need to show economic strength. But we are also responsible for elevating film. I’m not with buffoonish characters like Madea or Big Momma,” Idris said.
Aaron McGruder, creator of the popular “Boondocks” cartoon, even produced an entire episode that featured a Tyler-type character that dressed as a woman onstage and flirted with his male cast.
Tyler pointed out that other races don’t criticize members of their community for questionable depictions.
“I’ve never seen Jewish people attack ‘Seinfeld,’” he said. “I’ve never seen Italian people attack ‘The Sopranos.’ I’ve never seen Jewish people complaining about Mrs. Doubtfire or Dustin Hoffman and what they were doing in Tootsie,’” he said.
Listen to what Tyler said here.
-Tracy L. Scott
Does Tyler Perry have a point? Should the African-American community stop worrying about stereotypes and support him?